The Wild Coast by Lin Anderson

The Wild Coast by Lin Anderson was published in 2023. It’s the first book I’ve read by the author, but she has written lots which feature Rhona MacLeod as a forensic scientist.

It begins in Arisaig, an idyllic setting in the North-West Highlands of Scotland, a very remote area. A young woman has driven there in her camper van and it transpires that she has taken the chance to leave her violent partner while he is out of the country. She has the bruises to show for it, but is attempting to cover them up with make-up. Stopping at a small camp site which is mainly used by just a few wild campers she’s reticent about communicating with the few other campers around, so when she disappears overnight nobody even knows what her name was.

But just before that happens a shallow grave has been found in the machar (grassland) on the edge of the camp. It’s the body of a young woman and bizarrely there’s a figure of a stick man alongside her in the grave. There’s also a stick man figure in the campervan, but the grave is around two months old, so it’s not the missing woman from the campervan. Rhona MacLeod is called in to dig up the body in the grave and gather as much forensic evidence as possible.

The setting changes to Glasgow where there are rumours of corrupt police officers sexually assaulting young students and it looks like Rhona’s close colleague McNab is involved – or is he?

Most of the male characters in this book are truly obnoxious and at one point I wondered if it would ever feature any men who weren’t monsters, although if I’m recalling correctly the reader is never actually in the room when women are being physically abused.

As ever I enjoyed the Scottish setting and it was good to have so many mentions of my old stomping ground of Glasgow’s west end. I’ll definitely read more in this series, but I imagine that if you have suffered from abusive and coercive men in the past then you probably won’t want to read this one.


2 thoughts on “The Wild Coast by Lin Anderson

  1. Lin Anderson must have the best marketing behind her because I see her books promoted online all the time. She is not published in the US and I guess I never found the first in the series in my UK wanderings or I would have been tempted to try one. Good to know you enjoyed the Glasgow setting. I assume that is where most are set.

    • Constance,
      Apparently Lin Anderson started up the very popular Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival, so she must have loads of links within the industry. I suspect that is why her books are marketed so well, although I must admit I hadn’t noticed!

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