Someone is killing the bestselling crime-fiction writers in Scotland.
Incident-free for a change, the current edition of the Edinburgh International Book Festival has been chugging along manageably until murder most foul and most devilishly complicated derails it. It all begins when whodunit notable Ainsley Glover is found lifeless in the authors’ tent. Not only is Glover dead, but the garish murder method has been lifted directly from Black Sugar, the victim’s own novel. His demise is followed by an equally headline-grabbing murder when a second bestselling author is urged untimely into the big sleep. What’s going on here? Have Scotland’s mystery writers suddenly become an endangered species? And who is it that harbors so homicidal a hatred for them? These are questions Deputy Chief Constable Bob Skinner (After Shock, 2008, etc.) and his band of skilled, randy investigators must answer in order to still the ear-splitting journalistic clamor. As usual, however, law enforcement isn’t all the flamboyant DCC has on his plate. He’s about to be married to Aileen de Marco, Scotland’s First Minister. He’s about to become Chief Constable, Scotland’s top cop. And, because every silver lining must have its cloud, he’s about to risk losing an ancient friendship.
At 400-plus pages, Skinner’s 19th drags more than a little, but admirers of this bestselling Scottish crime-fiction writer probably won’t mind.