My latest book, Human Face (Allison & Busby) is coming out in January 2018. After writing nine DI Marjory Fleming books, I’m excited about this new venture. It all started with an image that somehow came to me: a woman, standing on a cliff edge; a man controlling a devil dog that forces her step by step back, and back, and back… I had to find out who she was and how she got there. There had to be someone to deliver justice for her: DI Kelso Strang, one-time Army sniper and Armed Response police officer, his face scarred from the car crash that killed his adored wife and unborn child, his soul scarred by grief and irrational guilt about signing the paper that stopped her breath. Police Scotland has set up the Serious Rural Crime Squad so that CID in low-crime areas can be scaled down and Strang, in a maverick role, heads its first big investigation, in the Isle of Skye at the foot of the Black Cuillin.
Beatrice Lacey, fat and plain, has two passions – Human Face, the charity for children that she finances, and its director, Adam Carnegie. She has learned to turn a blind eye to the weekend parties for donors who don’t seem the philanthropic type and the glamorous foreign ‘housekeepers’ who come and then go with immigrant status established. Or in one case, just go, unexpectedly. Beatrice tries not to think about that. Then the latest housekeeper also suddenly disappears. What only seemed like a woman with her own reasons for leaving evolves into a complex and ugly situation. She has disappeared into thin air – the thin air between the top of the cliff and the sea – and a savage and bloody murder follows. Strang’s job is to uphold justice, not revenge. But with the merciless elements as its agents, the brooding Cuillin seems to exert a dark force and he and his junior officer find themselves in a life-and-death struggle against that mighty enemy.