Book Review: Glasdrum by Fiona MacBain

GlasdrumGlasdrum by Fiona MacBain
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Life is not easy for the women of Glasdrum… A skeleton is unearthed, too many walkers are falling to their deaths off mountain cliffs, and the local pub doesn’t know how to make a decent raspberry daiquiri. Single mother Megan is a hill runner and cannabis dealer, an unlikely friend of well-to-do Finella, whose confident appearance hides struggles with her unpleasant husband and unruly children. Vicky is Finella’s child-minder, and when Finella’s husband starts digging about in her past, he discovers she has a secret. How far will she go to protect it? Glasdrum is a culture shock to Londoner Sarah, but she finds friendship with local journalist Catriona, recently returned to her hometown but haunted by memories from her past. The women battle through daily life while the spectre of death looms over the town. Could one of them be living with a killer?”

As someone who grew up in a rural Scottish village I would be the first one to say that this much excitement couldn’t possibly be going on and therefore this is completely unbelievable?  But it’s a testament to Fiona Macbain’s writing that when you are reading this book you do becoming involved and invested and it is completely believable. You empathise with these women who are just doing their best in the same sort of circumstances that many of us find ourselves in with kids, home and work and then on top of that have other harrowing and disturbing issues heaped on top of that.

The characters are all truly believable.  I particularly liked descriptions of Megan melting when her wee one gives her a big smile and at the same time how Finella feels overwhelmed and all at sea with her uncontrollable boys.  I think for me though, that Vicky was my favourite character and her fear at her past catching up to her was palpable and I was truly scared for her at times and desperately wanted to know how her issue resolved.

The descriptions of locations and the way the locals interact with each other is spot on and the way the Fiona writes how the locals talk about having ‘a good season’ resonates with me as someone living and working in an area where the economies are subject to the whims of the weather.    

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and the quality of this self-published edition was exceptionally good in my opinion.  I couldn’t put it down and will be recommending it to those looking for new and refreshing Scottish Crime Fiction.

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