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Templeton, Aline - 'The Darkness and the Deep' (Unabridged Audiobook) read by Cathleen McCarron
Audio Cassette (Jan. 2008) Publisher: Magna Story Sound ISBN: 1846522079

THE DARKNESS AND THE DEEP is the second book to feature DI Marjory Fleming and her team who work out of a police station in the Galloway town of Kirkluce. Marjory's right-hand man is Tam MacNee who is down to earth and fond of quoting Burns and they are assisted by Tansy Kerr and a newcomer, the ambitious Englishman, Jonathan Kingsley.

The team swings in to action after the crash of the lifeboat at the nearby town of Knockhaven. The three crew members are killed and the horror is worsened when there is evidence that the boat was deliberately lured onto the rocks in Fuill's Inlat. The small community is shocked and the pressure is on 'Big Marge'.

Deciding which one of the crew members was the main target is further complicated by the fact that one of the crew was a last minute replacement, which no-one could have predicted.

Marjory only cracks the case after cracking her ankle, whilst walking on her farm, which gives her the time to spot the clue that unravels the mystery.

THE DARKNESS AND THE DEEP is quite long and rambling but is never less than engrossing. The lifeboat disaster occurs some way into the book and the listener gets to to know the characters before their deaths which makes it all the more sad. The fallout on the bereaved wives and children is equally heartbreaking.

As well as the investigation, Marjory has to cope with the after effects of the recent Foot and Mouth crisis which put a strain on her marriage and meant her daughter wasn't popular in school. Her daughter does shed some light on one aspect of the case however and a psychologist friend of the family lends a hand too. This story is strong on plot, characters and the claustrophobic setting of Knockhaven and I enjoyed it enormously.

I was impressed with Cathleen McCarron when she narrated, Louise Anderson's PERCEPTION OF DEATH, but she was even better in THE DARKNESS AND THE DEEP. Her 'male' voices are exceptional and her Tam MacNee was a joy to listen to. Fortunately she has recorded the next book in the series, LYING DEAD, which is now available.

Karen Meek, England
May 2008

Karen blogs at Euro Crime.

Details of the author's other books with links to reviews can be found on the Books page.
More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 25/05/2008 10:35