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Review of "Torch" a novel by Lin Anderson
I am reviewing is the paperback version of the novel, 240 pages, ISBN 978-0340922378, publisher Hodder Paperback, cover price £6.99
Torch was was chosen as WH Smith's September 2004 Book of the Month for Scotland.
This is the second book in a series about Dr Rhona MacLeod, who is a forensic scientist working with the Police in Glasgow. The book commences with bodies and buildings being torched in Glasgow. Dr MacLeod's colleagues in the Edinburgh Police have also noticed similar cases and as the cases bear more than a passing coincidence, Rhona finds herself commuting between Edinburgh and Glasgow as she becomes more and more embroiled in the fire investigations.
The timing of the novel is New Year. Edinburgh is building up to the Hogmanay celebrations and the Police and Fire service are desperate to catch the culprit nicknamed the 'Torch', before the holiday season is reduced to disaster and chaos. Rhona works tirelessly with a variety of Police and Fire Officers to find answers and solve the increasing number of arson and murders, but emotions are running deep and the character's personality clashes seem to work against the professionals.
The storyline is very fast moving and the pace is absolutely perfect for this gripping crime novel. The tension builds throughout the pages and if you want to know the conclusion, you'll have to read the book! I have tried not to include any spoilers here!
About the Author
Lin Anderson was born in Greenock of Scottish and Irish parents.
Her father was a Detective Inspector in the CID in Greenock, she admits that she has based Rhona MacLeod's colleague and mentor, DI Bill Wilson, Rhona's colleague and mentor, on her father.
Lin Anderson has lived in various parts of Scotland and writes about Scotland with a remarkable knowledge and insight into the Scots psyche. She is a graduate of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Napier Universities and before taking up her writing career in the 1990's, was a teacher of computing.
More information about the author can be found on her web site:-
This website was also my source for information about Lin Anderson.
Praise for Lin Anderson's work.....
" A sexy new rival for old Rebus ..." -- Stuart MacBride, author of Cold Granite
"'Lin Anderson is one of Scotland's national treasures - don't be fooled by comparisons, her writing is unique, bringing warmth and depth to even the seediest parts of Glasgow. Lin's Rhona MacLeod is a complex and compelling heroine who just gets better with every outing." -- The Scotsman 2005"
Availbility and Price
Available from www.amazon.co.uk at £6.99 (new) or from 0.70p (used).
Publisher's web site www.Hodder.co.uk
My Thoughts and Conclusion
"Torch" is a fast moving crime novel. The characters are extremely well drawn, believable and true to life. The forensic science aspect of the plot has been very well researched and although the reader is not 'blinded by science', I felt that after reading this novel I had learnt a little about the work of the Police Force's forensic department.
The author writes about gruesome and unpleasant criminal activities in a down to earth factual fashion, although the subject matter is violent and disturbing it is never gratuitously so. There are a couple of scenes of animal cruelty which may upset readers, however they are relevant and salient to the story line.
The pace is absolutely spot on for a novel of this genre, I found it a real page turner.
Although Torch is part of a series , the novel can be enjoyed alone without having read the previous book.
I would recommend Torch to others who enjoy a crime novel.
Thank you for reading.
©brittle1906 August 2009
NB My reviews may been found on other review sites under the same user name.