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Sunday 8 September 2013

Devil's Brae by Faith Mortimer

Faith is a seasoned mystery writer and has penned the successful Diana Rivers’ mysteries.  Psychological thrillers are most certainly going to become another string to her bow. 

Devil’s Brae is set in the Highlands of Scotland.  A cold, mountain-dominated area of wild beauty.  Its remoteness provides the perfect solution for Cassandra Potter to recover from the sudden death of Sarah, the older sister she had just come to know.  What could be better than throwing herself into renovating the cottage she had inherited from Sarah, perhaps getting a dog, and giving herself time to think with plenty of fresh air and exercise?  But what seems to her like the perfect solution is thrown off kilter:  the reception from her village neighbours isn’t as warm as she would have liked.  An insularity which borders on contempt shatters her hopes for her own recovery.  She suddenly finds herself in a maze of secrets: not just those of her mysterious neighbours, but of Sarah and her own family.  Worse, why does she keep seeing a dark, brooding, sinister figure on the moors?  Why do strange things keep happening to her new home?  Does someone want her out of the house and out of the village?

Taut with suspense, this book, written in Faith’s usual clean and crisp style, will have you page-turning addictively, right to the very end.  The majesty of the unforgiving Scottish 'braes' is the ideal theatre for the tension, and I enjoyed the smidgen of romancein the form of handsome Angusthat softens the jagged edges of menace in the story.   It’s with some delight I saw that the title included the words 'Dark Minds 1'.  That means No. 2 must be in the offing.  I can’t wait.

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