Friday 30 June 2023

Under The Marsh by G R Halliday #UnderTheMarsh @gr_halliday @vintagebooks #BookReview #DCMonicaKennedy

Twelve years ago DI Monica Kennedy caught the notorious serial killer Pauline Tosh, imprisoning her for life.

When Pauline asks Monica to visit her at the remote Highlands Carselang prison, the detective thinks she's playing games.

But then Pauline hands her a hand-drawn map with a cross marking the desolate marsh lands near Inverness and Monica can't ignore it - she was always convinced there were more victims out there.

And when a body is discovered it looks like they've found a new name from Pauline's kill list.

But things are never that simple...

Under The Marsh by G R Halliday was published on 21 July 2022 by Vintage. 

I discovered G R Halliday and his lead character DI Monica Kennedy late last year and this series immediately became a firm favourite. Under The Marsh is the third in the series and I'm desperately hoping that book four will be along soon. 

Once again this author serves up a crime novel filled with thrills and unexpected events, in the beautifully described setting of the Scottish Highlands. 

Pauline Tosh was sent to prison for life twelve years ago. DI Monica Kennedy was the officer responsible for bringing this serial killer to justice. When Monica receives a request from Pauline, asking to see her, Monica is intrigued and goes to see her. She's very wary though, Pauline has always claimed to be innocent and was well known for her devious behaviour. 

Pauline hands over a map with a cross marking a spot on marsh land near to Inverness. Monica cannot ignore this and upon investigation, a body is discovered. Is this another of Pauline's victims? Why would she suddenly expose herself when she's always denied the murders?

However, all is not as it would seem to be and Monica and her team soon find themselves involved in a multi layered case that uncovers far more than they ever expected.

Monica is a great character and this author expertly includes her personal life into the story. This adds so much, revealing Monica's flaws and worries to the reader, making her appear so real. She's not just a police officer, she's a mother and daughter too, and her concerns for her child and her mother are tightly woven into the plot. 

Once again, the sense of place is outstanding. The reader is so clearly shown the desolate and isolated marsh lands, the streets of Inverness and the feelings of local communities. It's a fine art and one that this author does so very well. 

Another twisted tale of murder and misdeeds, led by one of my favourite characters. Highly recommended. 

G.R. Halliday was born in Edinburgh and grew up near Stirling in Scotland. 

He spent his childhood obsessing over the unexplained mysteries his father investigated, which has been a major inspiration for his writing. 
He now lives in the rural highlands outside Inverness, where he is able to pursue his favourite pastimes of mountain climbing and swimming in the sea, before returning home to his band of semi-feral cats.

Twitter @gr_halliday

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