When Shadows Fall by Alex Gray

When Shadows Fall is Alex Gray’s seventeenth novel featuring Detective Superintendent Lorimer, now the head of the Major Incident Team based in Glasgow. Skeletal remains are discovered in the grounds of a large house in the West Renfrewshire countryside by the gardener, Joseph Alexander Flynn. Freaked out by his gruesome find, he phones Lorimer. They go back a long way as Lorimer helped Flynn escape his troubled past. When a bullet hole is discovered in the skull, they have to treat it as murder. This cold case seems unconnected to the recent killings of retired police officers, but analysis of the bullet still lodged in the skull tells a different story.

As the number of killings mounts up, tension is rising as to who will be next. This is greatly increased by the fact that the reader knows more than the police; we know what the killer is planning just not his identity. Can Lorimer’s team solve the case before it is too late?

One of the reasons I started reading this series was the Glasgow setting. Alex Gray brings the city to life on the page. I have, unfortunately, been away for more years than I would like, but, even after all this time, this is a Glasgow I recognise, and it makes a great setting for When Shadows Fall.

There are lot of familiar faces in this book, especially if you have, like me, been reading the series from the beginning; once again Dr Brightman’s insight helps to solve the case. Lorimer is unusual among fictional detectives in that he does not display self-destructive behaviour, but goes home every night to his wife and the cat.

Despite being part of a series, you could just as easily read this as a standalone, but I do recommend that you go back to the beginning and enjoy all the others. Alex Gray skillfully weaves the different strands of this complicated plot together into a nail-biting conclusion, and I hope that you feel like giving it a try.

Thanks to the author, Sphere and NetGalley for a review copy.

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