As a long-standing fan of Lin Anderson, I probably stalked her for years before plucking up the courage to say hello a couple of years ago!, I was delighted when she and Pan MacMillan approached me and asked me to read the latest book in the Rhona MacLeod series, “Follow The Dead”. I’m not going to lie, it took me all of a nano second to shout YES please!
Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says:
“Follow the Dead is the thrilling twelfth book in Lin Anderson’s Rhona MacLeod series.
On holiday in the Scottish Highlands, forensic scientist Dr Rhona MacLeod joins a mountain rescue team on Cairngorm summit, where a mysterious plane has crash-landed on the frozen Loch A’an. Added to that, a nearby climbing expedition has left three young people dead, with a fourth still missing.
Meanwhile in Glasgow, DS McNab’s raid on the Delta Club produces far more than just a massive haul of cocaine. Questioning one of the underage girls found partying with the city’s elite reveals she was smuggled into Scotland via Norway, and it seems the crashed plane in the Cairngorms may be linked to the club. But before McNab can discover more, the girl is abducted.
Joined by Norwegian detective Alvis Olsen, who harbours disturbing theories about how the two cases are connected with his homeland, Rhona searches for the missing link. What she uncovers is a dark underworld populated by ruthless people willing to do anything to ensure the investigation dies in the frozen wasteland of the Cairngorms . . .”
They don’t call Lin Anderson the Queen of Tartan Noir for nothing! This is a crown most definitely deserved! “Follow The Dead” is the 12th in the Rhona MacLeod series. This series shows no signs of flagging as we are taken on a dark and chilling journey from Glasgow, to The Cairngorms, Aberdeen, Norway and even the Russian border in an intricately plotted out race to uncover the mystery and the links between death in the mountains and a raid on a Glasgow nightclub.
Can you read it as a stand-alone? Yes you can, all the books contain their own unique plot but after you read it I would highly recommend going back to the start and reading the whole series as it really is worth it.
From that opening prologue and first chapter I just knew that Lin Anderson had once again grabbed me and promised me a chilling and rollercoaster ride of a read. Kicking off in a snowstorm in The Cairngorms Lin’s expertise at scene setting really came to the fore as the chills set in right from the beginning before turning to DC Michael McNab back in Glasgow in a tattoo parlour. A plane crash, missing climbers and a raid on a Glasgow club, how could they all be connected I found myself thinking at the start. Watching the plot unfold each little link becoming clearer in a fast paced and exhilarating story line that ensured that “just one more chapter” became “just read to the end” as I struggled to put the book down!
Lin is an expert at atmospheric narrative and with one swoop of her pen her prose will chill you to the bone. From the very first page I was immersed into the plot, the location and the characters. It is clear that Lin Anderson invests a great deal of time and effort into the research for each of her novels and this shines through from the work of the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team to the structure and methods of policing in Norway.
Now, this might be the Rhona MacLeod series but oh how I love DS Michael McNab. He’s a conflicted and tormented soul at times, bouncing from one disastrous relationship to another. He struggles with authority and with the drink but despite all this there is something just ever so engaging about him. Yes, I’ll admit it, there is a little bit of a #CharacterCrush going on here! The relationship between McNab and Rhona is simmering as always, although Rhona has her own relationship issues, with Sean there is always that undercurrent between the two characters, that underlying chemistry that ensures that even when they are apart they always have each other in their minds. Add to the mix Norwegian Detective Alvis Olsen and Ellie, the tattoo artist who has captured the interest of McNab and it is bound to add an extra dimension to the relationship between McNab and Rhona. Will they? Won’t they? Do I even want them to? Whatever happens Lin Anderson has created a dynamite duo in these two, that’s for sure!
One of the things I love about reading a series this length is growing along with the characters. While each book can be read as a standalone in terms of the main plot, I have got to know Rhona and McNab so well, I have invested my time and energy in them, I believe in them, I feel their pain, their fear, their emotions; I actually feel like I know them (yes I know this makes me sound like some crazy delusional person but passionate readers will get what I mean). I see them in my head and I can hear their voices when they speak.. Lin Anderson has invested so much time in creating and developing true to life, multi-dimensional characters that you cannot help engage with. Combined with well researched plots and authentic scene setting this is a series that deserves to be read and enjoyed.
So, would I recommend this book? I think that is clearly a yes! If you are looking for an intelligently crafted plot, authentic location and scene setting and characters that will bury themselves inside of your head then I’d say pick it up, you will not be disappointed! And if you are new to Lin’s books then do yourself a favour and go and read the rest of the series, it really is worthwhile investing your time in!
Follow The Dead (Hardback and Kindle)(Paperback will be published on 22nd March 2018) is available to buy from:
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