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  • Shaun Baines

A Litter of Bones by JD Kirk

Ten years ago, DCI Jack Logan stopped the serial child-killer dubbed 'Mister Whisper,' earning himself a commendation, a drinking problem, and a broken marriage in the process.

Now, he spends his days working in Glasgow's Major Investigations Team, and his nights reliving the horrors of what he saw.

And what he did.

When another child disappears a hundred miles north in the Highlands, Jack is sent to lead the investigation and bring the boy home.

But as similarities between the two cases grow, could it be that Jack caught the wrong man all those years ago?

And, if so, is the real Mister Whisper about to claim his fourth victim?

My Review

A desperate search for a missing child in the Highlands of Scotland.

In a high stakes game, DCI Logan is the kind of man you want around in an emergency. Brusque, unorthodox and absolutely determined to solve the case. Despite the gruesome subject matter, there is a strong vein of dark humour, found most notably in Logan himself.

But a hero like Logan is nothing without the team who surrounds him. This is where an author's skills as a writer come into play. I am always fascinated by how writers deliver group scenes, how they give each character a chance to establish themselves as an identity while maintaining balance. JD Kirk doesn't disappoint. The team invites the reader in, sitting them in the centre of the action while snappy dialogue keeps us informed.

The pace rattles along, but never at the expense of characterisation. The plot is grim with some unsettling scenes. Rather than turning me green, they spurred on my interest, invested as I was in their resolution.

I particularly loved the evocative setting. On TV, it is easy to show the Highlands in all their glory. In a book, it is often mishandled. The author paints his location as both beautiful, frustrating, damp and colloquial – one of the best readings of rural Scotland I have ever encountered.

A Litter of Bones is a police procedural with high drama and dark humour. To check it out, you can find it on Amazon here. Should you enjoy it, please leave a review. It will help the author sleep at night.

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