- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 3788 KB
- Print Length: 382 pages
- Publisher: Penguin (14 January 2016)
- Sold by: Penguin UK
- Language: English
- ASIN: B013FG87IM
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Customer Reviews: 229 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #47,791 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The Woman Who Walked into the Sea (The Sea Detective Book 2) Kindle Edition
|Length: 382 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Entertaining and gripping mystery (The Herald)
A classic whodunit (The Scotsman)
Cal McGill is a triumph ... a wonderfully unique creation (crimefictionlover.com)
Great writing, enjoyable story-telling and wonderful characterisation (The Scots Magazine)
From the Back Cover
A SEA DETECTIVE MYSTERY
Cal McGill is a unique investigator and oceanographer who uses his expertise to locate things - and sometimes people - lost or missing at sea.
His expertise could unravel the haunting mystery of why, twenty-six years ago on a remote Scottish beach, Megan Bates strode out into the cold ocean and let the waves wash her away.
Megan's daughter Violet Wells was abandoned as a baby on the steps of a local hospital just hours before the mother she never knew took her own life.
As McGill is drawn into Violet's search for the truth, he encounters a coastal community divided by obsession and grief, and united only by a conviction to keep its secrets should stay buried . . .
'Full of surprises . . . this is a classic whodunit. A mystery from the school of Ruth Rendell, and I can't imagine anyone who likes those not delighting in this'
'Infinitely better written than the majority if its competitors' HERALD
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Northwestern Scotland with its wild coast and Atlantic seas, the landscapes and the people are easy to go along with as slowly the story and the mystery unfolds.
I enjoyed it very much, and would recommend it for a quiet pleasant read in bed or over a solitary meal.
Top international reviews
The story is set in north-west Scotland near Ullapool in the fictional coastal village of Poltown and opens with a memorial service for Diana, a widow whose husband William Ritchie QC owned the local Big House. Her former housekeeper, Mrs. Anderson, attends the service and chooses to seat herself in a fairly prominent pew feeling quite certain that she will be ushered to the top pew by in view of herdevoted service to the family and to Diana in particular. However, far from being exalted, she is very publicly and brusquely asked to
move to the back of the church by Diana's son-in-law. Now we have a woman with a mission and in her desire for revenge she sets in train a chain of events that she knows will reverberate on Diana's daughter and son-in-law.
Twenty six years ago on the local beach a young woman walked into the sea and disappeared; her body was never retrieved. Today Violet Wells lives with her four year-old daughter in a Glasgow tenement flat and she is aware she was abandoned on the steps of a hospital as a baby. During a visit from a social worker she is handed an anonymous letter naming her birth mother and also the beach where her mother had walked into the sea after giving birth to Violet. She immediately off for Poltown leaving her daughter in the care of her best friend.
This is a classic detective story reminiscent of PD James or Ruth Rendell and it is so refreshing to find such a well-written crime novel among the infestation of badly written, inane and violent thrillers flooding the market today. It is not without significance that Douglas Homes had a career as a very distinguished journalist since this is reflected in his clear straightforward prose. I loved the remote Scottish Island setting and the story's rather old-fashioned feel. The plot is interesting but it is the quality of the writing that earned the fourth star in my case. I look forward to Cal McGill's next outing which I believe is in the pipeline.
I now tend to eschew all new Gone Girl and Girl on a Train wannabees and find the Penguin logo most reassuring.
Violet Wells, the central character is a young single mum from Glasgow. She and Cal both turn up at Poltown, the little coastal village which we quickly discover has a menacing element to it . While Violet is searching for a past she did not know she had, Cal is trying to watch over her, a protecting figure. The village is deeply divided over a development plan for the bay and they are both caught up in the verbal and physical abuse.
The developing plot unveils the sins of the fathers (and mothers), bitterness, betrayal and revenge festering in a small community. There is a great sense of place, descriptions of beautiful landscapes and seascapes. Were it not for the people it could be idyllic. When weighed in the balance all but a couple of the local characters are found wanting.
This is a great story, well told at great pace without overdoing the drama. Looking forward to number 3.
Violet Wells is a troubled young mother. She was abandoned as a baby and throughout her life she has struggled to understand how a mother could ever do such a thing. She has constantly thought about meeting her and finding out why. Mr Anwar arrives with an anonymous letter indicating that Violet’s mother is dead and more can be found about her by visiting Portdown on the west coast of Scotland. She cannot resist, but why was the letter sent?
On arrival, Violet is befriended by the sea detective, Cal – an oceanographer who studies currents, wind and tide to predict where objects in the sea traveled. A romance could blossom, but Violet is apparently not interested – she is totally absorbed by her daughter, being determined not to treat her in the same way that she was treated. With Cal’s help she concludes that her mother cannot have drowned as the story goes. Her things were ‘washed ashore’ at a place where it would be impossible. Perhaps she did a Lord Lucan in order to escape the shame of an illegitimate birth, but when Violet discovers that the father was the well-to-do pillar of the community, then something more sinister is suspected. There is another sinister element too. The Turnbull’s are the local thugs who deal in drugs and anything else. They seem determined to shut Violet up.
Eventually the mystery is solved, but even at the end doubt remains. The plot is gripping and the characters engaging, but the strength of the book is the style. It is subtle and nuanced. A fine example is the visit of Mr Anwar to Violet early in the book. His character is perfectly drawn in a touchingly sympathetic style. In fact, the whole book lacks the graphic violence of many detective stories, and there isn’t a postmortem in sight. Well done, Mr Douglas-Home – an author to watch.
The book is well written and the characters nicely observed. I do like the Sea Detective angle as it's original and interesting. However, I do like to read to take me away fro what can be the 'drudgery' of life and, in this instance, he failed to do that.
Well above average in its writing, plot and characterization. Roll on April for the publication of his third novel.
Cal turns up in Poltown a fictitous town in the North East Scottish coast, and helps out a woman who has only recently discovered who her mother was and searching for any clues into her life and her mysterious death.
A good sequel to the first book The Sea Detective, this story has less reliance on the study of the sea and its movements and a few more characters to make a better story.
Again there are 2 stories which gradually overlap eachother. You find out a lot more about Cal McGill and his background which saved the book for me as I thought the story about the young woman was a bit weak.
An enjoyable read but not as good as The Sea Detective.