Still Life

Grove: Atlantic. (Karen Pirie, Bk. 6). Oct. 2020. 436p. ISBN 9780802157447. $26. M
The body of Jamie Auld is fished out of Scotland’s Firth of Forth. Ten years prior, he was suspected of the murder of his brother, Ian Auld, a high-ranking government employee, and fled Scotland for France. DCI Karen Pirie of the Edinburgh Historic Crimes Unit is to determine if the two deaths are connected. She is also lead investigator on the case of the unidentified skeleton of a long-dead body found in a camper van stored in a garage. To solve these cold cases, Karen and her team travel between pre-Brexit international borders into France and Northern Ireland. Mindful that the cooperation from those authorities are a Brexit agreement away from disappearing, they still break protocol along the way. Meanwhile, Karen is dealing with the release of the man responsible for her lover’s murder three years earlier, as well as distrusting a new relationship that began during her last cold case.
VERDICT In the sixth in her “Karen Pirie” series (after Broken Ground), McDermid rewards readers with a timely and cracking good mystery that keeps the pages flying. New readers are brought up to speed and will join longtime fans cheering on the well-drawn characters.
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