I spent the first twenty-two years of my life in Scotland, so a sweet ‘n’ sour post from north of the border is a must. Mind you, it wasn’t until I came to Switzerland that I met Alison Baillie and Jo Bartlett, the two writers whose books feature today. Both books are really good reads with a flavour of the area, perfect for the present time, when we can’t travel as much as we’d like to.
Sweet: A Highland Practice, by Jo Bartlett
Dr Evie Daniels has recently lost her mother. Unable to save the person she loved most in the world, she considers giving up medicine altogether; especially when her fiancé is unable to understand her grief. Instead she decides to leave her life in London and fulfil her promise to her mother to see as much of the world as possible. Her first stop is to escape to the wilds of the Scottish highlands and a job as a locum in the remote town of Balloch Pass. It’s only ever meant to be the first step on her journey, though, a temporary job she has no intention of sticking with. There’s a whole world to see and a promise to fulfil, after all.
But she doesn’t expect to be working with someone like Dr Alasdair James – a hometown hero – whose own life changes beyond all recognition when his best friend dies and leaves him guardian to two young children. With enough drama in their personal and professional lives to fill a medical encyclopaedia, they soon develop a close friendship. Can it ever go beyond that when Evie’s determined to see the world and Alasdair has commitments at home he just can’t break? Or are they destined to be forever in the wrong place at the wrong time?
I thoroughly enjoyed my outing to the Highlands with this book – and the house on that cover image is very similar to the cottage where I spent my teenage summers, on the Isle of Arran – happy memories!
Sour: Sewing the Shadows Together, by Alison Baillie
More than thirty years after thirteen-year-old Shona McIver was raped and murdered in Portobello, the seaside suburb of Edinburgh, the crime still casts a shadow over the lives of her brother Tom and her best friend Sarah.
When modern DNA evidence reveals that the wrong man was convicted of the crime, the case is reopened. So who did kill Shona?
Soon Sarah and Tom find themselves caught up in the search for Shona’s murderer, and everyone is a suspect. The foundations of Sarah’s perfect family life begin to crumble as she realises that nothing is as it appears.
Dark secrets from the past are about to emerge, but can they uncover the truth before the killer strikes again?
This is such an atmospheric read. Most of it takes place in and around Edinburgh, and you can tell that Alison Baillie knows the area intimately. A fabulous thriller.
We’ll finish off with a photo of Scotland this time – isn’t it lovely?