by Jo A Hiestand
Michael McLaren returns home from working a cold case in Cumbria to learn that he’s missed his uncle’s wedding in Scotland. Angry and fearful that his absence has re-opened the family rift just as it’s healed, he drives to the ancestral home, hoping his appearance and explanation will be accepted. He’s more than welcomed. His uncle asks him to investigate the murder of his first
Fiona Lennox was found in a rowboat on a Scottish loch, shot to death during a late night photo shoot. Why would she rent a boat after dark? Did she take it out to photograph the moonlight on the water? She could’ve done, being a professional photographer, but she was also a proponent of civic and environmental causes, which she documented with her camera. Did someone linked to one of her crusades kill her, or was the motive personal?
As McLaren uncovers layers of Fiona’s life and the reason for her nocturnal outing, he and his family are targets of intensifying attacks. But it’s not until he races against a kidnapper’s deadline and the threat of a loved one’s watery death that he realizes who killed Fiona⎯implications that are as deep and dark as the Scottish loch.
Water runoff coursed over the stones and soil, throwing back the light from his torch. His shoe came down on a slick patch of moss and he nearly fell. He righted himself and grabbed onto branches and boulders as he pulled himself upward, calling his grandfather’s name. A pine bough bounced as he gripped it, and showered him with its collected raindrops. He shook his head and panned the light along both sides of the trail.
He paused near the summit, and called his grandfather’s name. His breath scratched his throat and exhaled in white puffs that quickly dissipated in the wind. The air held the odors of sodden leaves, pine, and wet stone but brought no sound to him other than the rain striking the ground and the rustle of the trees. Some other day, some other occasion, he would’ve stopped to enjoy it, but this was not the time. He trudged ahead.
As he neared the summit, a flash of lightning pulled the clan monument out of the darkness, silhouetting it against the night sky. He nearly jumped, for he had no idea how far he’d hiked. A second flash seemed to prod him up the last few yards, and he stepped onto the hilltop.
He swung the torch beam over the ground as he walked around the area. He cupped his hands around his mouth and yelled again for his grandfather. A sound answered. McLaren stood still, trying to hear above the thunder and wind.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
A month-long trip to England during her college years introduced Jo to the joys of Things British. Since then, she has been lured back nearly a dozen times, and lived there during her professional folksinging stint. This intimate knowledge of Britain forms the backbone of both the Peak District mysteries and the McLaren mystery series.
Jo’s insistence for accuracy--from police methods and location layout to the general “feel” of the area--has driven her innumerable times to Derbyshire for research. These explorations and conferences with police friends provide the detail filling the books.
In 1999 Jo returned to Webster University to major in English. She graduated in 2001 with a BA degree and departmental honors.
Her cat, Tennyson, shares her St. Louis-area home.
Jo A. Hiestand will be awarding a $30 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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Photo Shoot is the ninth installment from Jo A Hiestand's The McLaren Mysteries series. It is, also, my first book I have read written by her. I thought it was pretty good. I enjoyed meeting Michael and the adventure, suspense and mystery that he gets involved in. I had the book read in no time.
I give Photo Shoot four stars. I look forward to going back reading the other books in The McLaren Mysteries to see what I had missed previously.
I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.