Paths of the Dead by Lin Anderson
I like Lin Anderson. I say that to lay my cards on the table because I have no doubt that personal feelings colour our view of someone’s work. In this I always think about Jeanne Louise Calment, who died in 1996 aged 122. She was interviewed about a year prior to her death. She had met Vincent van Gogh and commented that she did not like him, he was a very rude man. I could not help but pity van Gogh. He probably was brusque or rude to her when she was a little girl. It was just his luck Jeanne Louise Calment lived to be 122!
Paths of the Dead is Lin’s 9th novel featuring her character Rhona MacLeod. Several other books by Lin Anderson are reviewed on this site. They include https://bookreviewstoday.info/2015/10/30/the-special-dead-by-lin-anderson/, https://bookreviewstoday.info/2013/06/16/blood-red-roses-by-lin-anderson/ and, https://bookreviewstoday.info/2013/03/06/driftnet-by-lin-anderson/. There is no doubt to me that this author’s work just gets better and better.
I happened to be at the front desk of my local library on the day Paths of the Dead arrived so I was first in the queue to read it. Lucky Me. I love the characters, and it was great to pick up where I had left them last time. Lin is the queen of crime: a fantastic storyteller and writer. She manages to make you feel as though you are right there in the thick of the action. Lin uses powerful descriptive words and it is quite easy to imagine all the action going on in your head.
In Paths of the Dead, bodies were being found on some of the Druid stone sites in Scotland. The story begins when a lady, Amy MacKenzie agrees to attend a spiritualist church with her friends. There she gets a disturbing message from the other side: from her son Alan, who was definitely alive when she saw him just an hour before. Amy is not a believer so when she discovers that her son is, indeed, dead, his body having been displayed amongst standing stones near a stash of drugs outside Glasgow, she is not only sorrowful but curious. Why was her son murdered? How was the spiritualist the first to know?
DI McNab is convinced that it is a gangland hit but Rhona MacLeod thinks otherwise and turns to Magnus for help when another corpse is found dispalyed amongst standing stones.. Further murders occur and Rhona and McNab face a race against time to discover the killer before he or she kills again and to prevent the death toll from rising any higher.
This is a very clever book which travels the length and breadth of Scotland to bring the reader to the conclusion: beware of the dangers of meeting people from the internet, who you do not really know. I thoroughly recommend Paths of the Dead.