The opening lines:
“The girl´s screams were enough to give away their hiding place. It took a lot of noise, a racket, to have heads popping out of windows in a Muirhouse high-rise but it wasn´t the noise alone that alerted the neighbourhood.”
A teenage girl has been killed and dismembered, and furthermore babies keep appearing in the story, just to be spritied away again. (Now you are warned, this is not a cosy, but it does not dwell on gore and violence either).
Inspector Rob Brennan is back on the force after a period on leave because his brother was killed. He struggles to worm his way back in while his ambitious, female boss and his incompetent colleage do their best to trip him up or steal his thunder.
Even though I have visited Edinburgh, I must admit I have never seen this dark side of it:
“Edinburgh took people from all points of the compass and used them for its own end. It was no place for the weak or the insecure, the lonely or the dependent. The city´s streets were bright under the street lamps but they hid the shadows and the darkness that lurked there.”
In many ways an interesting, though dark plot and a well-written story with a satisfactory ending, but the pessimistic mood of gritty noir will never be my favourite subgenre. If you are a fan of noir, you´ll enjoy this one more than I did, however, so don´t let my taste spoil it for you.
I won the book in a competition.