It has been a while since I did a book review, much as I love reading life got in the way and I found a lack of time to read. Now the nights are closing in it seemed the perfect time to pick a book up from my ever expanding pile of books to be read. The one I chose was Cold Grave by Craig Robertson. The blurb on the back intrigued me as did the fact that the book was set in Scotland, in and around Glasgow. We have visited Scotland quite a bit in the last few years, most recently visiting the Highlands and also staying in a castle in Dumfries and Galloway. I was interested to see what a thriller set in Scotland would be like.
The book begins in November 1993, Scotland is in the grip of a freezing cold winter and the the Lake of Menteith is frozen. It is a rare opportunity for people to go out on the lake and practice winter sports, as well as being able to walk out to the island of Inchmahome, home to a ruined abbey. A young man and a young woman walk out to the island, but only the man returns. In the Spring the body of the girl is found, her skull crushed and unidentifiable. The murderer was never found, the girl never identified and the case left to become cold. An unsolved murder in a file, gathering dust on a shelf.
Twenty years later DS Rachel Narey returns to the island with police photographer Tony Winter. She has come to unofficially reopen the case. Her father, Alan Narey is a retired police officer and for him this is the case that got away. He is suffering from Alzheimer’s and Rachel is obsessed by a need to solve the case for him and stop it haunting him. She doesn’t realise that she is about to unlock secrets that have been buried for years.
Cold Grave is a thrilling read, it moves quickly and the end is unexpected. The characters are really brought to life, you feel for Rachel as she tries to solve the case for her father, taking risks that she would not normally. Originally she wants to solve the case only for her father, but as she gets more involved she realises that at the heart of the case is a teenage girl who has never been identified. This makes her want to lay her ghost to rest. The details of the crime scenes are bought to life by Tony Winter, whose job is to photograph them professionally. He notices the details of the scenes in depth, including the people around the scene, which brings another dimension to his photography.
I really enjoyed this book and it really captured the difficulties of police work, in Scotland, in the snow whilst being a fast paced and gripping thriller.