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by Aline Templeton
Hodder, January 2008
432 pages
6.99 GBP
ISBN: 0340922273

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

DI Marjory Fleming has that ongoing problem of being a big fish in a small pond. And her private life encroaches badly on her private life again in LYING DEAD.

If you've read the previous books in Aline Templeton's impressive series, you'll know that 'Big Marge' has to juggle her professional life as a top-ranking detective in a rural area with her private life where she's married to a farmer. In the past, issues like foot and mouth have threatened this precarious existence.

In LYING DEAD a woman's body is found in a remote forest. Initial investigations suggest the murder happened out of the patch, so it won't be up to Marjory and her team to find out what happened. But then there's another murder, this time among the boat club members, many of who seem to have rather complicated sex lives!

Marjory, meanwhile, must deal with problems on the home front as saintly husband Bill (who does get rather tiresome in this outing) invites a friend down on his luck to move into a cottage on the farm despite the fact the wife and Marjory have very uncomfortable past history. And her elderly parents are still giving her cause for concern.

It's rocky at work as well, as the CID team has split into two factions, with only Robert Burns-quoting DS Tam McNee and unconventional DC Tansy Kerr firmly in Marjory's camp. Much of the unrest is being fermented by DC Jonathan Kingsley, whose arrival in the previous book signalled someone out to make trouble.

LYING DEAD is about 100 pages too long. I was gripped for the first two thirds and then found my attention straying as the police went into talk-talk mode. The ending, when it came, was rather too neat and tidy and I'm still not entirely convinced by it.

This is still a series worth reading, though, as Templeton has created a wonderful patch in a remote part of south west Scotland, peopled by some very vivid creations.

Reviewed by Sharon Wheeler, January 2008

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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