The Red Road by Denise MinaMystery
This is a Scottish mystery--a first for me. As expected, I struggled with some of the lingo a bit. Things are just different there so expect to be a little confused about descriptions and turns of phrases. It was harder to read than a British mystery, but well worth the effort.
Michael Brown is a scumbag and belongs behind bars for his latest crime. However, police detective Alex Morrow discovers that one of his earlier crimes might be a setup. She hesitates because the discovery could release him from jail. At the center of the crime is Rose, a young girl orphaned and abused by her all around her. She commits a heinous crime in self-defense which, as a reader, I didn't find morally wrong. But, the wrong person is arrested, which is bad. But, he turns out to be a criminal so, that's all right. But, he might not have been a criminal if he hadn't been charged with the crime. ARRGHH--so many moral dilemmas!
I really liked the characters in the book--strong women with real struggles. Alex has a lot on her mind--her finances, her one year-old twins and her full-time job as a police detective. Her mind wanders during the investigation, which I liked because it made her seem like a normal working mother and not just an uber-detective. And, Rose--a woman who has worked so hard to pay back her benefactor. I wanted so badly for a fairy tale ending for her.
Apparently this is the fourth one in the series. I wasn't lost and didn't feel left out of something important. It probably isn't necessary to read these in order. The crime/mystery is more important here than the detectives or characters involved. It took me awhile to figure out who the main players were. The story line kept switching back and forth between twenty years ago and modern times. It take times to figure out which crime and which of the myriad characters to focus on. It is a book with a lot of brain work required, but a really good story, one that will keep you thinking and plotting on your own to make things work out. Jolly good show! (Oh, wait--that's a British saying, right?)