Michael McLaren returns home from working a cold case in Cumbria to learn that he’s missed his uncle’s wedding in Scotland. Angry and fearful that his absence has re-opened the family rift just as it’s healed, he drives to the ancestral home, hoping his appearance and explanation will be accepted. He’s more than welcomed. His uncle asks him to investigate the murder of his first
Fiona Lennox was found in a rowboat on a Scottish loch, shot to death during a late night photo shoot. Why would she rent a boat after dark? Did she take it out to photograph the moonlight on the water? She could’ve done, being a professional photographer, but she was also a proponent of civic and environmental causes, which she documented with her camera. Did someone linked to one of her crusades kill her, or was the motive personal?
As McLaren uncovers layers of Fiona’s life and the reason for her nocturnal outing, he and his family are targets of intensifying attacks. But it’s not until he races against a kidnapper’s deadline and the threat of a loved one’s watery death that he realizes who killed Fiona⎯implications that are as deep and dark as the Scottish loch.
Once again in Book 9 of the McLaren series, Jo Hiestand has McLaren headed deeper into Scotland to try and renew his relationship with the McLaren clan. After winding up another case, he finds out he has missed an invite to his Uncle’s wedding. When he calls his grandfather and says he’ll still be coming, he has no idea what faith his family has in him. He is only driving towards more challenges and more responsibility.
Anyone who has seen my blogs and reviews or my comments on Jo Hiestand’s Facebook page knows I absolutely love this McLaren character. He’s the epitome of my favorite type of mystery character. He’s a tough ex-cop, he’s moody, smart as a tack and he’s always just a little bit in love. Oh, and I might add, he’s good looking; at least in my mind he is. See? Right there is an example of what Jo Hiestand can do. You obviously know McLaren is a fictitious character in a book and yet not only do I feel I know him personally, I even think I know what he looks like. That’s what you call character development.
Her descriptive writing of the Loches and the lands of Scotland makes you feel as if you are in the middle of this beautiful country. I loved seeing the sites in Scotland and solving a murder with McLaren all while curled up on the couch under my blanket.
This turned out to be another great read in the McLaren series. I liked it so much I would tell you it was my favorite, but I like this McLaren guy way too much to choose a favorite.
I've loved this whole well-written series and Book 9 has made me even more anxious for Book 10!
Read an excerpt...
Stuart frowned, glancing behind McLaren as though expecting a squad of police officers on the pavement. “Oh, yes? And you’re with the police?”
“If I could come in and talk to you, I’ll explain everything. I’ll take only a few minutes of your time.”
Either Stuart’s curiosity or McLaren’s obstinacy won out, for the man opened the door and ushered McLaren inside. “Have a seat,” Stuart said, indicating the sofa as he closed the door. “I can spare ten minutes or so.” The door shut with a thud, shaking the Venetian blinds at the nearby window. He picked up a book on the chair opposite McLaren, laid it on the coffee table, and sat down. His tan shirt and brown trousers complimented the furniture colors. “Now, who are you exactly and why are you asking questions about Fiona’s death? That was a year ago.”
“I know that, but I’ve been asked to look into her death and hopefully bring answers to her friends.”
“Commendable, but the police have looked into it.” He frowned and his gaze lingered on McLaren, as if waiting for him to produce a warrant card. “Are you with the Constabulary?”
“Then why are you…” He paused, perhaps searching for the correct word.
“Looking into her case?”
Stuart gave him a quick, humorless smile. “I was going to say poking your nose into something that doesn’t concern you, but if you want to play at being a detective, I suppose it’s all right. As long as you don’t harass people to prove something.”
“I hardly ever do. Anyway, I gave that up for Lent.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
A month-long trip to England during her college years introduced Jo to the joys of Things British. Since then, she has been lured back nearly a dozen times, and lived there during her professional folksinging stint. This intimate knowledge of Britain forms the backbone of both the Peak District mysteries and the McLaren mystery series.
Jo’s insistence for accuracy--from police methods and location layout to the general “feel” of the area--has driven her innumerable times to Derbyshire for research. These explorations and conferences with police friends provide the detail filling the books.
In 1999 Jo returned to Webster University to major in English. She graduated in 2001 with a BA degree and departmental honors.
Her cat, Tennyson, shares her St. Louis-area home.