Both probing character study and a driving novel of suspense, here is a novel that will linger in your mind like mist over the Scottish Glens.
In the Highlands of 1950s Scotland, a boy is found dead in a canal lock. Two young girls tell such a fanciful story of his disappearance that no one believes them. The local newspaper staff - including Joanne Ross, the part-time typist embroiled in an abusive marriage, and her boss, a seasoned journalist determined to revamp the paper - set out to uncover and investigate the crime.
Suspicion falls on several townspeople, all of whom profess their innocence. Alongside these characters are the people of the town and neighboring glens; a refugee Polish sailor; an Italian family whose cafe boasts the first known cappuccino machine in the north of Scotland; and a corrupt town clerk subverting the planning laws to line his own pocket.
Together, these very different Scots harbor deep and troubling secrets underneath their polished and respectable veneers - revelations that may prevent the crime from being solved and may keep the town firmly in the clutches of its shadowy past.
©2010 A.D. Scott (P)2010 Audible, Inc
"Scott brilliantly evokes the life of a small Scottish town and touches on issues that continue to perplex and horrify us. Score a big victory for A Small Death. (The Richmond Times-Dispatch)
"The characters of the crusading small-town newspaperman and the part-time typist (a battered wife at home) are skillfully drawn and will have readers rooting for them unequivocally. This is the first entry in a projected series, and it is captivating on every level." (Booklist)
The narrator of this book completely ruins it. I PREFER English and Scottish accents and always try to find books with those attributes, but I made a mistake by not heeding Denis's warning. Mr. Keating's narration is such that after 4 plus hours, I have no idea what the plot is or who the characters are. Instead of following the punctuation or the plot for inflection, he just pauses every 3 or 4 words irregardless and seems to think that the lilting quality of his narration will carry it through. It's too bad, because his voice is pleasant to listen to and I think that with a little effort he could be a very good reader. Gonna have to get the hard copy to get through this book, though.
I would recommend reading this book which is very good. Only this got me through the reading which, though done by a Scotsman, is very bad. Not the accent which is obviously authentic, but the inflection and charactor voices.
Between 12 and 24 audible books a year since early 2002, and this is the first book I couldn't finish. It didn't hold my attention. At first the narrator didn't bother me, but then after I was unable to stay interested enough in the story to know who was talking or what was going on, the narrator started to grate on my brain. So, no more books for me from AD Scott or John Keating.
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