Published: 14th February 2017 (Bloodhound Books)
In a small Scottish university town, what links a spate of horrible murders, a targeted bomb explosion and a lecturer’s disappearance? Is a terror group involved? If so, who is pulling the strings? And what does something that happened over forty years ago have to do with it?
Having recently returned to Castletown in the hope of winning back his estranged wife, DCI Jim Carruthers finds himself up to his eyes in the investigation.
Struggling with a very different personal problem, DS Andrea Fetcher assists Jim in the hunt for the murderous perpetrators. To prevent further violence they must find the answers quickly. But will Jim’s old adversary, terror expert McGhee, be a help or a hindrance?
The first in a new series featuring DCI Jim Carruthers
Robbing the Dead is a promising start to a new detective series (and I do love a good detective series!), DCI Jim Carruthers and his team are based in Castletown, Scotland – Jim had been away from Scotland but he returned with hopes of winning back his estranged wife however things don’t always go to plan. However, Jim has settled back in Castletown and has a strong team around him.
At the start of this novel, the body of a Welsh RAF airman is found and appears to be a robbery gone wrong. However, when an targeted explosion happens at a local University focused on a professor’s vehicle and another RAF airman goes missing, the robbery theory is soon discounted. Carruthers and his team find themselves investigating a murder as well as a explosion – are the two linked? Seems very coincidental when Rhys is Welsh and the targeted professor had written a book which was pretty scathing about Welsh Nationalism.
This is an interesting read, linking the events of 40 years ago to those in the present day, at times I struggled as I don’t know, in detail, the historical events that are referenced throughout the book. However, that said, this was still an enjoyable read which alongside the investigations, also introduces the reader to the Castletown team. DCI Carruthers is fighting his own personal demons linked with the breakdown of his marriage, and the return of an individual he blames for this does not help matters.
I really liked DS Andie Fletcher’s character as well as the working relationship she has with Carruthers, as Carruthers is relatively new to Castletown, they have an instant bond and can support each other; both professionally and personally. They are not afraid to state a spade is a spade around each other.
A promising start to a new series, come back on the 2nd June for my thoughts on the second book, Care to Die which is out on the 1st June.
Tana Collins is an Edinburgh based crime writer and author of the best selling Jim Carruthers detective series, set in Fife. Her debut novel, Robbing the Dead, published 14th February 2017 by Bloodhound Books, was described as ‘A police procedural that delights the reader with its strong sense of place. Tartan Noir at its best,’ by crime writer Sarah Ward. It was a top 10 kindle bestseller for Scottish Crime and Thrillers and has already racked up 60 reviews on Amazon.
Care to Die, which is the follow up in the series to Robbing the Dead, is being published on 1st June 2017. Peter Robinson writes of it “A finely plotted mystery. Tana Collins racks up the suspense on this one. DI Jim Carruthers is a cop to watch.”