OVER THE SEA TO DIE by Richard Grindal


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The author's second journey to the Hebrides (Death Stalk, 1983)--this time to the island of Skye, where Dr. Charles MacKinnon is serving a month as temporary replacement for Dr. Donald Tait, who's undergoing surgery in Edinburgh. On the lengthy drive from the ferry to Tait's home and office, Charles stops to admire a magnificent ocean view--and sees someone being thrown into the sea from a nearby cliff. The body is found the next day and identified as Jamie Gillespie, a homosexual, AIDS-infected ex-junkie who had reportedly come home from Edinburgh to be near his mother and brother. There's more trouble ahead as Charles meets the doctor's helpful wife and their attractive daughter Kirsten, who runs a crafts-center on the island and has taken into her care retarded Mairi McPhee, who, it turns out, is pregnant--father unknown. In the meantime, Charles, slowly drawn into the life and problems of Kirsten and of his patients, visits Edinburgh and finds out more about Jamie but no explanation for his seeming prosperity on Skye. But when Mairi disappears and her corpse is found on the mainland, Charles begins to piece together a scenario more suited to the big city than to this remote backwater. His dogged sleuthing doesn't pass unnoticed, and, in the end, only Kirsten's quick-witted intervention saves him. A sometimes laborious style slows things down a bit, but this is mostly solid stuff--plain and straightforward. Add a plus for lovers of the Scottish islands. Grindal does this one handsomely--warts and all.

Pub Date: Dec. 13th, 1990
Publisher: St. Martin's