A mystery with a hint of some Gothic romance

Author Gillian Galbraith is one of the gems of Tartan Noir.

As a writer, her Alice Rice mystery series has been crtically acclaimed, and, during the first lockdown in 2020, her library eBook borrowings outstripped Hilary Mantel, Michelle Obama and Sally Rooney – in the top ten, the first novel in the series Blood in the Water was top, and Troubled Waters, the last, was tenth.

Gillian’s work is varied as her thriller The End of the Line, which was inspired by the 2020 Penrose Inquiry into the contamination of the Scottish blood supply with AIDS and Hepatitis C, was chose as holiday reading by the Sunday Times Crime Club.

Kinross-shire-based Gillian’s latest work is different again, with a GOthic love story and a haunting mystery.

An old man, once a judge at the Court of Session, hovers between life and death. One memory haunts him, of a love affair, years earlier, with a woman called Laura, a woman who from the moment he first saw her had changed his life forever.

In her presence, his home city of Edinburgh seemed a new and exciting place, its once reserved people overflowed with warmth and friendliness towards him and gradually she, and she alone, became the focus of all joy in his world.

But just when he begins to believe himself the happiest of men, a strange discovery makes him question not only all his old certainties but who Laura is, and if he ever knew her.

Having practised at the Scottish Bar as an advocate, Gillian drops in her legal knowledge, and creates an intriguing page turner, all written in the first person.

Although this clocks in at less than 100 pages, it’s a haunting tale which will keep you wondering who Laura was until the very end. A most enjoyable read.

Love Lies BLeeding, by Gillian Galbraith, published by FinnStar Books, £8.99.

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