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  • Title: Where No Shadows Fall
  • Author: Peter Ritchie
  • Publisher: Black and White Publishing
  • Publication Date: 7th February 2019

Early copy received from publisher for review purposes.

Description

Expose the truth or let the dead lie still?

Grace Macallan’s life is on an even keel – at last. But a 9-to-5 career away from the frontline isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

So when she’s sent to investigate a suicide at Glasgow’s notorious Barlinnie prison, Grace gladly escapes her desk. The dead inmate is Tommy McMartin, heir to a ferocious criminal family. His murder conviction saw Tommy’s fall from power; cast out not for violence but because the victim was his gay lover.

The investigation drags Grace into contact with her McMartin adversaries of old. But the gangland dynasty is under threat and, as it topples, secrets once dead and buried are unearthed.

As she unravels Tommy McMartin’s fate, Grace senses someone watching her from the shadows, someone who aches for revenge. An awful dilemma faces her: to expose the truth or let the dead lie still.

My Thoughts:

The fourth book in the Grace Macallan series was a book that I eagerly anticipated, this is a series I’ve followed from the beginning and have become somewhat attached to the characters. The writing never fails to emphasize the danger or the hard conditions that Peter Ritchie has his characters working under, something that I suspect comes from experience as opposed to imagination.
An immersive and thrilling read, this series has taken readers on a journey into the darkness of the criminal underworld and the hierarchies of the powerful, and brought them face to face with some of the most terrifying and impossible situations.

Without saying much about the plot, I will say that the scenes set in Barlinnie prison are some of the most powerful pieces of writing from Peter Ritchie. He manages to set the scene perfectly, convey the harshness of the atmosphere and the bleakness of the situations facing his characters incarcerated there without being overly dramatic or taking away from the seriousness of it all. But for me, what really steals the show is the characterisation.
Being able to see another side to an already complex character such as Tommy McMartin when he’s in prison really fascinated me. Ritchie’s writing has this wonderful way of making a reader not only feel the emotions of the personas at play, but to feel as though they are there in the moment. Seeing this powerful and dangerous gangland figure unravel and became fair game in prison, the abuse meted out to him had a serious impact, both physically and psychologically, left him feeling there was only one course of action open to him. Being able to make me feel sympathy towards Tommy shows the skill of the author perfectly, his writing evokes great emotion for a character who has possibly carried out some of the most violent and deadly actions in the gangland setting, I applaud Ritchie for this impressive feat.

Macallan’s life has moved on somewhat from the end of book three, and the continuity of her timeline has been wonderful to watch develop. The way that she has been cast makes for engaging reading, not the stereotypical female in a male heavy workplace. She has earned her place and the respect of those around her through hard work and years of working in some of the most dangerous environments. Watching her life take shape outside of the job allows readers to get to know this character deeply, understand some of her motivations and why she will always remember those who’ve helped her get where she is.
She walks a dangerous tightrope, balancing what is right for her family and what is right for her, whilst fighting the good fight and finding justice.

A brilliantly gritty crime thriller that adds to the series perfectly, it examines the bonds between family, loyalty and friends, leaving readers questioning what will happen next.

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** My thanks to Lina at Black and White Publishing for my copy of this book and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour **

 

Description:

Detective Grace Macallan is at crisis point. She’s unsure of her future, of whether she has the strength to continue with her role in serious crime. Events are threatening to run out of control, and this new investigation will test her to the limit.

An undercover officer is missing and a woman is washed up, traumatised and barely alive, on the shores of Berwickshire. She has witnessed horror on the dark waters of the North Sea, and her subsequent ordeal to survive turns her life into a nightmare.

As she untangles the woman’s story of trafficking and abuse, Grace is drawn into the world of organised crime in Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh. At their head is Handyside, a brutal gangland boss who’s fought hard and dirty to control his territory. But there’s a traitor in his midst, and soon the most cold-blooded criminals in the North East of England and Central Scotland turn on one another in a desperate race to destroy the evidence that will lead Grace to them.

Grace must pit her wits against Handyside, knowing he’ll stop at nothing to protect his criminal empire. She knows, too, that one wrong move could end in tragedy.

My Thoughts & Review:

From the moment I finished reading Evidence of Death I was eagerly anticipating reading the next installment if the Detective Grace Macallan series, and Peter Ritchie didn’t disappoint!

When we last encountered Grace Macallan she had just survived a bomb blast that could have killed her and the baby she didn’t know she was carrying.
The aftermath of events of her last case left emotional and psychological scars, but the birth of her son has brought her a contentment that she never knew she wanted or needed.  Despite this, Grace feels a yearning for something more, and a phonecall with news of an undercover officer having gone missing and a young woman washing up barely alive in Berwickshire is all that it takes to pull her back in.
Determined to make a decision about her future once and for all, Grace agrees to take on this case, not realising just who she will be up against and just how dangerous it will be.

As with each of the books in this series, Ritchie takes his readers on a whirlwind journey into the dark underworld, and in this case the world of people trafficking, drugs and violence.
Cleverly, Ritchie has created a character that readers will connect with and take a liking to, and the more trouble that surrounds Macallan, the more exciting the book becomes.  The danger posed by the various groups in this book makes this such a tense read, and the way that it all ties together is clever.

The action in this book is fast paced and at times does make you squirm but it works well within the bounds of the plot.  Dialogue is realistic and the added touches of slang/dialect give a wonderful authenticity to the exchanges that take place.

Another brilliant book in the series and one I would highly recommend.

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** My thanks to the lovely Lina at Black and White Publishing for my copy of this book and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour **

 

Description:

Billy Nelson is back home in battle-scarred Belfast. But the Troubles have cut this ex-Army Loyalist hard man deep – and now that his city’s allegiances have shifted, nothing is quite the same.

An outbreak of gang violence forces Billy to move on. This time to Edinburgh, where he muscles in on the capital’s drug trade and the family who run it. As the balance of power tips, underworld rivalries between Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast spill out onto the streets.

With a spate of horrific incidents and a trail of victims, the pressure is mounting for Grace Macallan, new superintendent of the Crime & Counter Terrorism Directorate. Troubled by her own demons and with everyone baying for the blood of Billy Nelson and his old paramilitary contacts, can Grace hold her nerve?

 

My Thoughts & Review:

I think it’s fairly obvious to anyone reading my reviews that I have a soft spot for Scottish crime fiction, and so when I saw this series I knew that I just had to read it and see what it was all about.

In the spirit of discovering a series properly I got hold of the first book, Cause Of Death and devoured it within days before moving on to Evidence of Death.
In this series readers are faced with a protagonist who has such a troubled past, one that has seen her face the dangers known and unknown before transferring to Scotland to head up a new task force.

Macallan’s days in Belfast are a distant memory so when a known Loyalist from the Northern Irish capital descends upon Edinburgh bringing a reign of terror with him, Macallan and her team have no idea what madness is about to ensue.  Billy Nelson returned from fighting with the Army to find a changed Ulster.  The peace process talks underway meant that opposing sides are no longer at war with each other, caches of arms were surrendered and those once embroiled in fighting turning to new ways.  However for Nelson, one enemy is replaced with another, his unprovoked attacks on innocent victims causing alarm enough to have the once leaders of the UVF to question his presence.  With that he is shipped off to Edinburgh to start up the Scottish arm of their drugs empire.

The great thing about this series is the characters, they are strong and so wonderfully detailed that you cannot help but feel that you get to know them through reading these books.  I would heartily recommend reading the series in order so that you can get a good understanding of Grace Macallan and those connected with her.  The relationships surrounding her are complex, and there are few who she takes into her complete trust.  The way that her mind works is fascinating, the mental leaps that she makes leave a reader almost breathless at times trying to keep up which makes for a thrilling read.
Billy Nelson on the other hand is a dangerous and dark character that will have readers racing through the pages to find out just what he might do next.  I always find it exciting when an author can create a character that both excites and horrifies me and it’s fair to say that Peter Ritchie has done just that with the Ulsterman.

Explosive action and thrilling plotting make this a gripping read and one that I cannot recommend highly enough.  Now the impatient wait for the third installment…..

You can buy a copy of Evidence of Death via:

Amazon UK
Wordery

 

Evidence of Death BLOG TOUR copy(1)

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