Line: Worldwide Mystery
Release Date: July 1, 2012 - reissue
Retail Price: 15.95
A CASE OF REDEMPTION
It’s been a year since inspector Mike McLaren walked off the force,tormented by a case of injustice. Working as a stonemason keeps his hands busy, but his mind is too sharp to refuse a woman’s plea for help on a cold case. The victim, Marta Hughes, was found shot in a barn after winning a large sum at a casino. Her closest friend is still looking for justice. She thinks McLaren is the man who can deliver.
There are plenty of suspects, including a jealous husband and angry coworkers. But as McLaren digs, he’s harassed by anonymous calls, break-ins and mounting violence. Someone is setting him up for a fall. But is it a bitter colleague from his copper days or a vengeful killer determined to keep Marta’s case unsolved? The truth may not set him free, but it will go a long way to keeping him alive.
Marta Hughes has a lucky night at the casino with a big win at the roulette table. However, her luck runs out later that night and friends are shocked to learn she had been murdered. One year later, Linnet Isherwood hires former Staffordshire police detective Michael McLaren to investigate the murder and clear the name of her friend, and suspect, Verity Dwyer. Even though the local police can’t make the case against Verity, the damage to her reputation could be permanent. McLaren is initially reluctant to get involved. However, he is intrigued by the case and agrees to investigate even though it’s been a year since he left the force under mysterious circumstances. McLaren isn’t sure he’s up to the challenge, but is willing to give it a try, even when it seems working on the case could put his life in danger!
Siren Song is a well-written, suspenseful book. At the same time McLaren investigates the mystery behind Marta’s death, the reader tries to piece together the reason for McLaren’s resignation from a job he obviously loved. It’s fascinating watching McLaren question people who were in Marta’s life to find out who may have been her enemy while he is also dealing with a nemesis of his own. This is an intelligent, intriguing book with complex characters. McLaren is likeable and it’s obvious he’s one of the “good guys”, both from his own comments and from the way a few of his loyal friends stand by him and are willing to help him out on his current investigation. This makes it all the more puzzling why he left the police force and how he made such a bitter enemy of a former co-worker. I grew to respect his investigative skills and intelligence, all the while wondering what happened to cause him to make such drastic changes in his life – quitting his job and calling off his wedding to his fiancé Dena. It makes sense that McLaren’s ex-fiancé would not have a major part in this book since McLaren is trying to move on from his old life, but I would have liked to have seen more of Dena. She seems like an interesting character with a lot of spirit and affection for McLaren.
The book slowed down a bit toward the middle with not a lot going on that added to the case, but it quickly picked up and recaptured my interest. The author cleverly supplied more clues toward the solution of the murder and about the event that changed Michael McLaren’s life. I love being surprised in a mystery and this one had an unexpected ending I didn’t see coming. The book is an excellent British procedural for fans of Deborah Crombie or Martha Grimes. It has a very authentic feel and I was surprised to learn the author is American, living in St. Louis, Missouri. This is the first book I have ready by Ms. Hiestand, but it won’t be the last!
Reviewed by Christine K.
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