Thursday 4 April 2024

Read in 2024 - 6: In Dark Water

In Dark Water
Lynne McEwan
DI Shona Oliver Crime Thriller # 1

Detective Inspector Shona Oliver and her family have relocated only recently to Dumfries in Scotland, where she grew up. For reasons to do with her and her husband’s careers as well as to provide a more secure environment for their teenage daughter, they have given up their busy lives in London. While Shona’s husband seems perfectly happy to run a B&B from their new home, and Shona herself adapts to life far from the big city mainly by being involved with the local lifeboat team, their daugther finds it hard to adjust – on top of being in the middle of puberty, she is also the odd one out at her new school.
When the lifeboat team are called out to recover the body of a young woman, it soon becomes clear that this is not a straightforward case of suicide or a simple accident.
While some influential people don’t think the police should waste time investigating the death of a young drug addict and prostitute, Shona knows she won’t let go until she uncovers the truth behind the suspicious death.
More is to follow, with the team having to investigate largely under the official radar and having to delve deep into the world of illegal immigrants, organised crime and corruption within the police force.
Political and personal implications make things harder, with Shona’s own family coming under threat and facing real danger.
And what does stolen baby milk has to do with it all?

It was a realistic-sounding and complex case, and had its share of gruesome detail without overdoing those details unnecessarily.
 The description of the actual police work, how the team went about their investigation, was well done.
Also, I could to an extent relate to the main characters but have to admit I did not entirely warm to them.
Maybe what I enjoyed most about the book was the setting of rough coastal beauty, descriptions of sunsets and landscape.
Of course, with it being the first in a series about DI Shona Oliver (as is so often the case, a freebie at Amazon's Kindle shop), it is clear from the start that she is going to survive no matter what.
It wasn't a bad read at all, but I doubt I will be actively looking for more.

The author was unknown to me; she does not seem to have her own website, but say this about her: "Glasgow-born Lynne McEwan is a former national newspaper photographer turned crime author. She's covered stories including the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the first Gulf War in addition to many high profile murder cases. She currently lives in Lincoln and is in the final year of an MA in Crime Fiction at the University of East Anglia."


  1. Never heard of this author (until now) and I have too many other books waiting to feel tempted. Still enjoyed reading your review, though! :)

  2. Too bad it didn't catch your interest, it's always fun to find a new series to start!
    I'm working through the Marsha Grimes' Richard Jury series and so I have a LOT to read! Thanks for telling me about this author, Meike!

    1. Out of the pile of 8 paperbacks I bought at the church stall a few weeks ago, four are Martha Grimes ones :-) I am glad you enjoy the Richard Jury series!