A very big thanks to Urbane Publications and NetGalley who provided this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.
I will start by saying that I found it a difficult story to connect with. To be fair, I have not read the first two books in the series so perhaps doing so would have helped me invest more in the characters and their stories. Certainly the overall theme of solving mysteries in remote parts of Scotland in the 1800’s is interesting and apparently the first two books also follow the same main characters found in this third instalment of the series.
While a bit short on character development, the mystery itself is a good one. Unfortunately, because I couldn’t connect with the characters, it was difficult for me to feel any urgency about solving the mystery. The story takes place in the 1860’s and starts with Brogar Finn and Sholto McKay sailing from Fort William to a remote part of Scotland as representatives of a company that is finalizing a deal to buy Hestan Island and the small copper mine on it.
The story is filled with various characters who allude to a mystery that they have been covering up since the Crimean War. Central to this mystery are Kerr Perdue and Gabriel Merryweather who live on the island under agreement from their old friend who they fought with in the Crimean War, James Heron’s late father, where “something” happened that they have been covering up for 30 years. When a murder occurs on the island, past collides with present and Brogar and Sholto are driven to uncover all.
I love stories that take place in remote parts of Scotland. Peter May is one of my favourite authors and his Lewis Trilogy contains some of the best descriptions of remote Scotland I’ve ever read. In similar fashion, this story has some great descriptions of Hestan Island, the Solway Firth and the surrounding area. Again, the problem that I have with the book is character development. There are lots of characters and a number of different story arcs but without feeling something for the people involved, I found it difficult to care about whether they found the answers they were looking for.
This book will be published on January 18th of this year. Now that I’ve read the book, I wish that I had gone back and started with the first in the series. I have to believe that understanding more about the characters and their backstories would help me care more about them in this third installment.