Lin Anderson
 

CRIME WRITING

RHONA MACLEOD BOOKS:

EASY KILL

DARK FLIGHT

DRIFTNET

DEADLY CODE

DEADLY CODE REVIEWS

TORCH

BLOOD RED ROSES

ABOUT RHONA MACLEOD
NEWS / EVENTS SCHEDULE
FORENSICS INFO/LINKS
TARTAN NOIR
FEMMES FATALES

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Brochel Castle

 

 

RHONA MACLEOD

 

DEADLY CODE REVIEWS
The third instalment of forensic scientist Rhona McLeod. She went to California the same time as I did! The author has LA described perfectly, just like her perfect description of Glasgow, I don't doubt her take on Raasay is spot on too.
(I've never been there, but I have driven past, and found it quite easy to imagine). I have to say in this one, I found the plot a wee bit too far fetched than the last two books with a few too many coincidences. Everything tied in like knitting. I would have liked a few more red herrings and guesses. But it was an enjoyable read for a Sunday afternoon anyway!

Bookcrossing Website forum


It's quite safe to read Carofiglio's novels before going to sleep but that may be less advisable with my next book [Deadly Code]. The world of Glasgow based forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod is rather more gory and I'll probably read Lin Anderson's latest during daylight hours. Incidentally, Ms Anderson lives in Merchiston in Edinburgh near Ian Rankin, Alexander McCall Smith and JK Rowling. Rankin calls this neighbourhood the "Writers' Block"...
I've already enjoyed the two previous Lin Anderson books - Driftnet (after reading a favourable review by David McLetchie, the former Scottish Tory leader) and Torch in which the Glasgow scientist spends an amount of time in Edinburgh that would have horrified Jim Taggart.

David Farrer - Freedom and Whisky Blogspot
 
30th December, 2006

Female forensic pathologists (stay with me - this gets easier) have become in recent years an astonishingly successful sub-genre of the detective thriller.
This is entirely the result of Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta books ('Postmortem', 'Body of Evidence') and the Dr Temperance Brennan novels ('Deja Dead', 'Death du Jour') by Kathy Reichs.
I read these two giantesses of American popular fiction avidly. I have cheerfully contributed to their paperback billions. But they would not normally feature in this column.
They are here this week because Scotland now has a fictional female forensic pathologist all of our own. Her name is Rhona MacLeod. She is a Gaelic speaker from Skye. And her latest, third adventure is set in Raasay.
Sitting - as I do most days - looking out towards Braes from the south side of Churchton Bay, I can hardly believe I just wrote the above lines. But I did, and I stick by them.
Luath Press - an increasingly lively Scottish independent house - has now published three Rhona MacLeod books by Lin Anderson. The third, 'Deadly Code', is set in Glasgow (Ms MacLeod's base), California, Sleat and Raasay.
I am moderately familiar with the first, have never been to the second, used to live in the third and presently live in the fourth. Whoever else reviews Lin Anderson's latest, they are unlikely to do so with a more personal sense of genuine intrigue.
I have just finished reading 'Deadly Code'. Thrillers, like most books, normally transport their readers elsewhere. There is something inexplicably baffling about immersion in a novel which brings Glasgow gangsters, FBI agents and American racial puricists - not to mention forensic pathologists from Skye - together in a gory shoot-out in the usually quiet village and woodlands of one's own neighbourhood. It's a little like having Indiana Jones step off the Sconser ferry with a bull-whip, having refused to pay the five-day visitor return fare. I suppose you just have to blink and accept it.
As one quite happily blinks and accepts Lin Anderson's plot. She has rather cleverly latched onto the link - highlighted almost uniquely in these pages over the past few years - between some American far-right genetic racists and their version of Scotland and the Gaels. This leads her from Glasgow to the Californian part of the story, where Rhona MacLeod finds herself attending a US Highland Gathering which is nurturing a rather nasty neo-fascist True Gaels movement. From there it is a short hop and a skip back over the Atlantic, and all parties converge by boat on the north coast of Raasay - where several dismembered body parts have been brought up in fishing nets.
Rhona's journey leads her from Mallaig to Armadale, and up through Sleat, where she stops to look fondly at her old family home. This is now rented to a distinctly sinister Canadian Gael who is teaching at Sabhal Mor Ostaig. I will at this point refrain from further comment, except to suggest that future novelists who choose to dabble in this theme should pay serious attention to the libel laws.
She crosses to Raasay and there (here) takes a B & B with the local postmistress. Lin Anderson's narrative is by now so close to home that this reviewer feels he ought to declare an interest and leave the room. But I cannot. Held like a rabbit in the headlights, I can only read on, drop-jawed, as the Inverarish postmistress's home is invaded by a Raasay exile who has become a Glasgow street kid, an abandoned baby and the aforementioned pathological drug-dealing gangster, who has a longstanding grudge against Rhona MacLeod.
In reality, this train of events would of course have been handled with calm and aplomb, and this, sensibly, is how Lin Anderson chooses to direct her fictionalisation. The Raasay postmistress takes care of the infant and the exile (while still selling stamps and newspapers) and is utterly unperturbed by the gangster. What's more, she manages to hide the whole shenanigan from her neighbours.
In the face of such superhuman composure the violent action of 'Deadly Code' has no option but to move to the semi-deserted north of the island. There is a generally satisfactory conclusion, in that most of the baddies and only one goodie come to a sticky end in the woodland between Brochel and Hallaig.
And so concludes the first ever female forensic scientist thriller to be based largely in Raasay.
Anderson holds her plot together well, ties up all the loose ends, and keeps things bouncing along at a decent lick. I just hope that next time she visits the carnage on somewhere a bit more deserving. Broadford, perhaps.

Roger Hutchinson


Buy DEADLY CODE ...

ISBN-10: 0340922389 - ISBN-13: 978-0340922385

 
EASY KILL
 
DARK FLIGHT


 

 
DRIFTNET

 

 
DEADLY CODE


 


 
TORCH


 

 
BLOOD RED ROSES


 


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