This is Book 2 in the series, but can easily be read as a standalone.
Detective Inspector Shona Oliver of Dumfries and Galloway Police also works as a volunteer at the Kirkness Lifeboat Station. She is married to Rob. Together they run a boutique B&B and have a daughter called Becca, who is fifteen.
When she is called out to an emergency in the middle of the night, she discovers a dead man and a seriously injured boy. They are on Kilcatrin Island, surrounded by phosphorus grenades which causes chemical burns. Things become even worse when she realises it’s her friend’s husband and son…
I liked Shona very much and enjoyed seeing the professional working side of her, but also the mum struggling with a teenage daughter (who wants to get her nose pierced underage and is generally pushing the boundaries) and fighting for her marriage, after Rob has faced issues in his personal life and his previous job.
There’s also an important environmental message to the book. The effects on the local community grow, with the beaches having to shut for safety reasons and tourists being deterred from the area. You can see how the local economy suffers and the tension events cause among the locals.
There’s a lot going on in the book and I always enjoy following a police force trying to solve a crime, so I especially enjoyed this aspect, but also seeing Shona’s different roles – at work and at home. She is the star of the show for me and came across as completely real.
Nothing stays buried forever
Lifeboat volunteer DI Shona Oliver receives a Mayday call coming from Kilcatrin Island. Upon the beach is the badly burned body of a man, and a boy lies gravely injured nearby. Strewn around them are scores of Second World War incendiary bombs, presumably washed up by the tide from Beaufort’s Dyke, an offshore arms dump deep in the Irish Sea.
The dead man is a local fisherman – his son the other victim – and it rocks the tight-knit community on the shores of the Solway Firth. As lead detective, Shona has to maintain a professional distance. But she can’t ignore the hardship that her neighbours who make a living at sea are experiencing. Anger is directed at the Ministry of Defence when the fallout threatens tourism, and livelihoods including Shona’s own family B&B business are at risk.
Suspicious behaviour seems to be found at every turn. It’s impossible for Shona to get to the truth unless she can gain the trust of those who know more than they’ve been willing to reveal. But blind loyalty may mean she’s too late to save those still in danger – including herself.
The second instalment in an exciting new Scottish crime series featuring a detective with nerves of steel. Perfect for fans of Neil Lancaster, G. R. Halliday and Ann Cleeves.