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An idyllic Highland beach is the murder scene in this week's Star Read

By Margaret Chrystall

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The latest case for forensic scientist Dr Rhona MacLeod has the hallmark of Lin Anderson’s long-running crime series which comes to Arisaig in Wild Coast by Lin Anderson (Pan Macmillan, £18.99), the 17th.

The Wild Coast.
The Wild Coast.

It’s the way this week’s Star Read instantly sets the scene, writer Lin Anderson's richly described landscape transporting you to the beauty of the west coast, before the inevitable murder that brings Rhona and the police on site. Here, the story begins with a missing child, a body in a shallow grave quickly being discovered in the searches plus a sinister stick man found at the scene.

It all sets up one of the forensic expert’s most chilling challenges, as the Carrbridge writer notches up her popular character's 20th year.

Rhona sums up the situation she faces at the start of the book where her planned ferry journey setting off home to Glasgow from a holiday on Skye is abruptly diverted to a body found near a campsite close to Arisaig.

“Walking through the machair brought waves of soft scent to assail her, while the birdsong rang in her ears. She pondered again on the contrast between the idyllic nature of this spot and the horror of what they had unearthed there.”

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As ever, Rhona’s police ‘family’ add to the authentic feel of the thriller.

Here, DS Michael McNab is caught up in ongoing rumours and investigations of sexual assault by a serving police officer.

Crime writer Lin Anderson from Carrbridge.
Crime writer Lin Anderson from Carrbridge.

But with an unconvicted rapist, information leaks by a mystery police insider, trying to decode the meaning of the stick man as the killer's calling card and using painstaking forensic work to draw closer to that killer – Rhona needs all her skills and insight to solve the conundrum writer Lin has set at the heart of the case. MC

Wild Coast by Lin Anderson (Pan Macmillan, hardback £18.99). The book is also available as an ebook.

Catch up online with Lin Anderson’s Bloody Scotland event last week with the experts she consults when writing her Rhona MacLeod books – Professor Lorna Dawson, a specialist in soil forensics, forensic pathologist Dr James Grieve, and advocate Donald Findlay KC.

Digital £5 ticket here: Available to watch until September 30.

And watch 15 events from Bloody Scotland with a £50 pass: Also available to watch until September 30.

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