by Alex Gray
on Tour May 8-31, 2017
Eric Chalmers is one of the most popular teachers at Muirpark Secondary School in Glasgow. Gentle and kind, he is the one adult students trust as a confidant. So when precocious teenager Julie Donaldson accuses Chalmers of rape, the school goes into shock. How could a deeply religious family man like Chalmers do such a thing? With some students and teachers supporting Julie, and others standing by Chalmers, life at Muirpark is far from harmonious. And then the situation gets much worse – Julie Donaldson goes missing, and the police are called in.
For DCI William Lorimer, this is the second missing persons case in a week. He's had too many sleepless nights worrying about a toddler who has been missing for several days. Julie's disappearance adds a further burden to Lorimer's already overstretched workload. With each day, the likelihood of either girl being found alive diminishes, and Lorimer finds himself racing against the clock to save innocent lives.
I have enjoyed reading the DCI Lorimer series. This is the sixth in the series but can be appreciated without having read the previous novels. Gray did a good job of holding my interest by including two cases Lorimer is working on. One is a child abduction while the other is a missing person, soon found to be a victim of murder. The two cases were distinct and did not confuse the plot.
The strength of this Lorimer novel is the character development. I enjoyed learning more about Lorimer's wife, Maggie, and her teaching. Her minor involvement in the murder case is supplemented with important events in other characters. A well liked teacher is falsely accused of rape and we see what effect that has on his life and career. A student has a father who has just been released from prison and we read how the young man deals with that troubling influence.
The novel takes place in Scotland and Gray frequently has characters speaking local dialect. I found that to be somewhat distracting. That was a minor issue in an otherwise good novel.
This is a good police procedure novel that has much character emphasis. There is essentially no suspense. I recommend this novel to those who would enjoy a novel of methodical investigation taking place in Scotland.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Book Details:Genre: Mystery
Published by: Harper Witness
Publication Date: May 9th 2017
Number of Pages: 368
ISBN: 0062659162 (ISBN13: 9780062659163)
Series: DCI Lorimer #6
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
Read an excerpt:
Alex Gray was born and educated in Glasgow. After studying English and Philosophy at the University of Strathclyde, she worked as a visiting officer for the Department of Health, a time she looks upon as postgraduate education since it proved a rich source of character studies. She then trained as a secondary school teacher of English.
Alex began writing professionally in 1993 and had immediate success with short stories, articles, and commissions for BBC radio programs. She has been awarded the Scottish Association of Writers' Constable and Pitlochry trophies for her crime writing.
A regular on the Scottish bestseller lists, she is the author of thirteen DCI Lorimer novels. She is the co-founder of the international Scottish crime writing festival, Bloody Scotland, which had its inaugural year in 2012.