The Woman Who Walked Into The Sea: Review

The Woman Who Walked Into The Sea

By Mark Douglas-Home

Sandstone Press, £8.99The Woman Who walked into the sea

The Woman Who Walked Into The Sea is the second in what I hope will be a series of detective novels about oceanographer turned detective Cal McGill, the idiosyncratic and unconventional hero of Douglas-Home’s compelling first novel, The Sea Detective. Douglas-Home’s second whodunit sees Cal dropped once again into a remote Scottish coastal town, stifled with long kept secrets.

This time the story revolves around Violet Wells who travels to the town to discover the history of her birth mother. City dwellers Cal and Violet are thrust together and plunged into the eerie rural coastal community. As outsiders they break both the veneer of calm in the town as well as the complicit silence and deadly secrecy. Propelled by the inquiries of Cal and Violet, the story and truth unravel as does the status quo of the rural community.

This lyrical book is self-assuredly Scottish and is wonderfully evocative of the wildness of the Scottish West coast. The poetic language brings the setting into colour vision as much as the prose and dialogue of the gripping mystery brings the protagonists to life.  The story is eloquently drawn as Douglas-Home succeeds in painting a portrait of a Scottish community without a hint of stereotype.

 Camilla Norton