It is always a pleasure and an honour to read and review an early copy of Douglas Skelton’s books, so when this little beauty arrived on my doorstep, I dived straight in!
Happy Publication Day Douglas!
Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says:
In 1752, Seamus a’Ghlynne, James of the Glen, was executed for the murder of government man Colin Campbell. He was almost certainly innocent.
When banners are placed at his gravesite claiming that his namesake, James Stewart, is innocent of murder, reporter Rebecca Connolly smells a story. The young Stewart has been in prison for ten years for the brutal murder of his lover, lawyer and politician Murdo Maxwell, in his Appin home. Rebecca soon discovers that Maxwell believed he was being followed prior to his murder and his phones were tapped.
Why is a Glasgow crime boss so interested in the case? As Rebecca keeps digging, she finds herself in the sights of Inverness crime matriarch Mo Burke, who wants payback for the damage caused to her family in a previous case.
Set against the stunning backdrop of the Scottish Highlands, A Rattle of Bones is a tale of injustice and mystery, and the echo of the past in the present.
If Douglas Skelton had been my history teacher at school, I may have learned a lot more than I did. In this, third in the Rebecca Connolly series, he once again marries past and present effortlessly and pulls you into a story line so compelling you may forget to eat!
Words painted in the paper conjure up powerful images from the outset as DS once again opens up with a killer hook opening. I challenge you to read that opening chapter and come back and tell me that the hairs on the back of your neck were not standing rigid.
He then swiftly transports us forward in time to Inverness in the present day and the world of journalist, Rebecca Connelly. Tension drips off the pages and just keeps building as the ugly face of Finbar Dagleish and his dubious political party Spirit of the Gael enter the fray once more.
This time around journalist, Rebecca Connolly chases justice for James Stewart, languishes in prison, convicted of murder over ten years ago. As the past reaches up to touch the present emotions run high as secrets long buried are unearthed and Rebecca finds herself caught up in a little more than she bargained for.
There are many clever crafters of stories out there and Douglas Skelton definitely falls into this category; A Rattle of Bones is filled to the brim with a cast of characters who really do just step out of the pages and bring the story alive and into your life.
Rebecca Connelly is real, she has flaws and she has talents; she is feisty without being a stereotype and anxious enough without being a walkover. She is, what I always believed every investigative journalist to be: a terrier refusing to let go but with the heart of a Labrador; Douglas Skelton really has managed to step inside of her head and bring her to life. Through her character he explores and sometimes, quite rightly digs in the ribs the ever changing landscape of journalism and the world of online news versus clickbait.
A Rattle of Bones has it all, mystery, death, investigation, relationships, organised crime, laughter, tears, jaw dropping and breath holding moments yet never makes the reading experience too busy.
Don’t miss it!
A Rattle of Bones is available to purchase from