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Templeton, Aline - 'Lying Dead' (Unabridged Audiobook) read by Cathleen McCarron
Audio CD (May 2008) Publisher: Magna Story Sound ISBN: 1846522420

After listening to the thoroughly enjoyable THE DARKNESS AND THE DEEP I had resigned myself to a long wait for the follow-up, LYING DEAD, but a mere four months separated the releases on audio. Hopefully, the new book, LAMB TO THE SLAUGHTER will also be swiftly recorded.

LYING DEAD, like its predecessor, has a coastal setting. Most of the investigation revolves around the inhabitants of the picture-postcard village of Drumbreck which is full of second-homers from Glasgow. The action begins with former prisoner discovering a dead body outside the forest shack he's currently living in. In horror he recognises the dead person as the woman who had him sent away. In panic, knowing that he'd be the prime suspect, he moves the body into the forest, hoping that it'd never be discovered. Unfortunately he didn't count on a keen mountain biker going off the trail and finding the body.

DI Marjory Fleming and her team are called in, but initially a wrong identification leads them to think that the case belongs to Manchester CID as that's where the woman lived. However DC Jon Kingsley identifies the woman as Davina Watt, someone from his past, a woman after a rich man. And so Marjory has to accept that the case is all theirs.

The author also introduces the reader to many of the residents of Drumbreck aka Sodom-on-Sea and we see their jealousies, affairs and aspirations. Of particular importance are the Murdochs, a local family: Niall who is having affairs with several of the incomers, his wife Jenna who wants to sell up the white elephant house that Niall bought and leave him, and their daughter Mirren who hates her father and is desperate to save, at any cost, Moss the sheep-dog from being put down.

A second death puts the pressure on Marjory and mistakes by her team don't help.

As with THE DARKNESS AND THE DEEP a picture of the whole community is built up with background information being given from the supporting characters' points of view. The investigation is mainly questioning and yet more questioning but a few more of the police offers are now coming into focus to join Marjory, Tansy Kerr, Jon Kingsley and Tam MacNee.

Marjory also has to cope with her father's illness and the installation of the hated Susie Stevenson on her property when her husband offers Findlay Stevenson a job at their farm.

My interest level never flagged and I loved every minute of LYING DEAD and to top it off, the answer to the whodunit is staggeringly well concealed and yet obvious in retrospect and one I certainly didn't guess.

Cathleen McCarron gives another superlative performance and I continue to be amazed at how she does her 'male' accents so well.

Karen Meek, England
July 2008

Karen blogs at Euro Crime.

Details of the author's other books with links to reviews can be found on the Books page.
More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 27/07/2008 15:56