In the latest piece by Keith Moray, the reader is taken back to the rural areas of Scotland, perfect for a chilling mystery. After a night of drinking, one teenage girl wakes, unable to see. One of her companions is missing and the other appears to have aspirated on his vomit, left for dead. DI Torquil McKinnon and his team are called to investigate, juggling a missing person’s case with what appears to be alcohol poisoning. Tests reveal that the teens were drinking peatreel (illicit whisky), full of methanol, which likely caused the blindness and death by aspiration. While DI McKinnon seeks to find the missing teen, he is met with another murder of a local businessman with ties to two of the teens. When a new member of the West Uist Constabulary arrives from England, McKinnon puts DC Penny Faversham to work, allowing her to show off all her skills. With a killer hiding in plain sight, they have a potential third victim awaiting her fate. The search for the deadly alcohol must have come from a still, though none of the samples match those found at the scenes of the crimes. McKinnon must work quickly and insist on the community’s help to find a killer, before others meet a bitter end. Another great addition to the Torquil McKinnon series that will have readers wishing they, too, could visit West Uist. Recommended to fans of the series, as well as those who like police procedurals outside of the norm.
I have been devouring this series ever since they were presented to me a year ago. Keith Moray does a masterful job of painting the rural Scottish countryside in such a way that its tranquility is matched only by the uniqueness of its goings-on. Torquil McKinnon remains an effective protagonist whose personal life is balanced out with some wonderful development during yet another murder investigation. His attention to detail makes him a wonderful detective, solving crimes with ease without coming off as cocky. Others in the series, both returning characters and those introduced for this piece, work to push the story forward and keep the plot intriguing. The story was fresh—something some might find hard to believe in a small community—and the plot examined some interesting situations that might be more likely in small-town Scotland than the large city. Moray delves into the world of distilleries and how they work, educating the reader throughout the process. With numerous characters building their own sub-plots, the reader will never be without something intriguing to pique their interest. I hope this return of Torquil after a hiatus is a sign of more stories to come!
Kudos, Mr. Moray, for another wonderful piece. The story is read with such ease that new fans are sure to get hooked and binge the entire series.
A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons