It is always a good sign when you crack open a book and immediately get sucked in to the story. This is what happened to me with ‘Follow the Dead’. As I sat in my living room in July, the sun peeping out now and again from between the clouds, I was oblivious to it all. Instead, as I sat on my sofa there was snow drifting around my feet and a slight shiver ran through me as I accompanied Rhona MacLeod up in to the snowy depths of the Cairngorm Mountains in deep January snow. Such was Anderson’s mesmeric prose that I felt as though I needed a blanket round me instead of shorts and a T-shirt.
With great detail, although not so much that it slows the plot or shows the reader that Anderson has ‘done her homework’, we are taken along on a rescue mission to find four people who were known to be in the mountains, were scheduled but didn’t arrive at Aviemore for Hogmanay. On this snowbound mountain Rhona and the crew find more than they could ever expect when they arrive.
Smartly, Anderson cuts to McNab who is the brawn to Rhona’s brains. He is her complete opposite. Irrational and focussed on getting a perpetrator caught, even if it means he takes another bullet. Flipping between Aviemore and Glasgow, the two follow their own leads until they begin to intertwine. In steps Alvis Olsen from Norway and the case becomes even darker. I liked Olsen a lot and while I know Norway can’t be involved in every case, I’d really like to know how this self-isolated man moves on to the next stage of his grieving process. I won’t say anymore in fear of saying anything that spoils it for you!
All I will recommend is that when you start on this book, turn off the phone, get a flask of coffee and wear warm clothes! The Cairngorms and the North Sea feature prominently – so freezing cold and rain are on the forecast. But it will definitely be worth it to take this journey with MacLeod and McNab. Great page-turning stuff!