For Their Sins by Alex Walters #BookReview #DIAlecMcKay5 #BloodhoundBooks #4*

DI Alec McKay is back.

In the depths of a cold Scottish winter, an unidentified body is found in the heart of a solstice bonfire, apparently burned alive. Over a tense Christmas, a retired businessman goes missing, his body eventually found hanging from a tree in the coastal town. Another associate is found brutally murdered in his remote Highland home.

DCI Helena Grant wants to spend a romantic Christmas with her new partner, the crime writer Bill Emsworth. In her absence, DI Alec McKay and his team struggle to investigate the killings, their work hampered by staff shortages and hostile weather. As he tries to connect the murders, McKay discovers that the victims have links to a notorious investigation led by the late DI Jackie Galloway, the subject of a ‘true crime’ exposé written by Emsworth. 

When another local businessman disappears, McKay fears that Emsworth, and even Helena herself, maybe in danger.

It seems the real answers lie deep in Grant’s own past, and, with the killer closing in, her future becomes increasingly perilous…

DI Alec McKay series

  1. Candles and Roses
  2. Death Parts Us
  3. Their Final Act
  4. Expiry Date
  5. For Their Sins

A Puzzling Read!

A gripping crime thriller with plenty going on!

Crime has no respect for Christmas; with the festivities only a day or two away, a body turns up in the middle of a bonfire followed by a local man going missing, found hanged after several days. On top of that, a man is murdered in his home and there would appear to be some kind of connection. As police officers hope for some time off for the big day, the bodies are mounting up, the weather is closing in, and a link is found to an old case of a former DI. The present boss planned to spend Christmas with her new romantic interest who just happens to be the author who wrote the true crime book on the same old case. When another businessman disappears, is Helena in danger?

I hadn’t realise before I began that this one is set on the Black Isle in Scotland – always a bonus! There are no shortage of bodies and the plot thickens with each discovery. Alec McKay is a bit of a maverick detective; he does what is necessary to get the job done – just not always by the book. With excellent characters and a really well-plotted story this has several twists and turns to keep the reader’s focus. I surprised myself by actually working out who was behind it all (more by luck than design) but hadn’t quite joined all the dots. A real credit to the author for writing this ahead of time during lockdown. A puzzling read which I’m happy to give 4*.

My thanks to the publisher for my copy; this is – as always – my honest, original and unbiased review.

Tags: crime thriller, police procedural

Author Details

Alex has worked in the oil industry, broadcasting and banking and runs a consultancy working mainly in the criminal justice sector including police, prisons and probation. 

As Michael Walters, he published three crime novels set in modern-day Mongolia now republished in new re-edited editions. As Alex Walters he has written two books set in and around Manchester and featuring the undercover officer, Marie Donovan, Trust No-One and Nowhere to Hide, three books featuring DCI Kenny Murrain, Late Checkout, Dark Corners and   Snow Fallen and four books set on Scotland’s Black Isle  featuring DI Alec McKay and DS Ginny Horton, Candles and Roses, Death Parts Us, Their Final Act, Expiry Date with For Their Sins to be published in March 2021. He has also written Winterman, a historical crime thriller set in the East Anglian fens in 1947. His latest book, Small Mercies, the first in a new series set in the Peak District was published in May 2020. ​

After many years in Manchester, Alex now lives in the Scottish Highlands with his wife, occasional sons and too many cats.

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