Reporter Jo Dalgleish is not one of Inspector Tony McLean’s favourite people, but he cannot totally avoid her plea to help find her missing colleague. Then his body is found in a carefully staged and bizarre condition in a cave beneath Edinburgh. The blood has been drained and it seems to be impossible that the body could have been placed where it was found.
In a seemingly unconnected case, McLean is begged by a friend, transvestite fortune-teller Madam Rose, to find out who is trying to drive her from her home, by killing one of her cats and stuffing crap through her letterbox. Touches of the supernatural do not detract from this tale, and McLean’s humanity clearly shines through.
Further strange killings occur, seemingly with no connection with one another except for their very oddity.
Being the fifth in the series, McLean’s colleagues reappear and become familiar characters, both loyal friends and annoying superiors, as does McLean, himself.
It is a very readable who-dunnit, although the darkly driven killer seems to stretch the reality of motive and method to the limit.
Thanks once again to Random House Penguin South Africa for sending me this review copy.
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