Anderson, Lin - 'Picture Her Dead'
This is the eighth full-length book by Lin Anderson to feature her feisty forensic scientist, Dr Rhona MacLeod and is every bit as excellent as the previous books in the series, if not more so. Again, it isn't necessary to read the earlier books, although it is preferable, of course, and shouldn't be a difficult thing to do, as the stories are first rate.
This time around, Rhona is contacted by her adopted son. She doesn't see much of him and her overriding emotion when she does is guilt. This time, one of Liam's close friends, Jude Evans, has failed to turn up when she said she would and he goes to Rhona for help. The police do eventually get involved but at first their progress is very slow and it is only the persistence of Liam and his friends, Ben and Aurora, that keep the case moving. Jude has been photographing old Glaswegian cinemas for her Art College project and, as the reader discovers in the first chapter of the book, she comes across something interesting hidden behind a wall in one of the old buildings. This, we soon discover, is a body that was bricked up in highly suspicious circumstances, and the reason for Jude's disappearance slowly starts to be revealed.
In an additional storyline, a former colleague and lover previously thought dead, reappears in Rhona's life; Rhona is beside herself with delight, but the race is on to keep her friend alive and well.
One of the good things about books by Lin Anderson is their readability. Light enough to whiz through quickly - and you want to be able to do this to keep up with the plot - yet well enough written to keep your intellect happy. The central characters are very human and appeal to your better nature. You want them to solve the case and stay alive but at the same time you wonder if they actually will. I do love a good detective story about a strong female character, and Rhona MacLeod definitely fits the bill!
Very highly recommended.
Amanda C M Gillies, Scotland