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Death of an Addict
Hamish Macbeth Series, No. 15

by M C Beaton


Hamish’s friend Parry McSporran has three vacation chalets on his land, and one of these is let to rehabilitated junkie Tommy Jarret. He swears that his drug-taking days are in the past, but only the day after Hamish meets him he is found dead from an overdose in his chalet. Or is he? Jarret’s parents beg Hamish to reopen the case, and discover why he had taken sleeping tablets as well as heroin. This leads the Highland "innocent" into the murky world of undercover policing and drug smuggling, aided (and led) by tough Glaswegian Detective Inspector Olivia "Concrete Knickers" Chater.

...And now for something completely different! This is surely the most memorable of the series to date, where Hamish takes a vacation not only from Lochdubh but also from his cozy world. Sleazy discos, drug barons, Amsterdam prostitutes and working undercover are not normally part of Hamish’s job description, but they are in this novel. Ms. Beaton does a good job of it too, telling the tale with a light hand but plenty of satire and contrasting Hamish’s normally pleasant existence with bleak inner city crime. From heathery mountainsides to grim Strathbane with its unemployment, derelict apartment blocks and squalor might mean promotion but at a high price. There is plenty to ponder on in here, particularly that this series shows no sign of getting stale.

Reviews of other titles in this series

Death of a Gossip #1
Death of a Cad #2
Death of an Outsider #3
Death of a Macho Man #12
Death of a Dentist #13
Death of a Scriptwriter #14
Death of an Addict #15
A Highland Christmas #15.5
Death of a Dustman #16  [review 1] [review 2]
Death of a Celebrity #17  [review 1] [review 2]
Death of a Village #18
Death of a Poison Pen #19
Death of a Bore #20  [review 1] [review 2]
Death of a Dreamer #21 [audio] [book 1 ] [book 2]
Death of a Maid #22  [review 1] [uk review 2]
Death of a Gentle Lady #23  [review 1] [review 2]
Death of a Witch #24  [review 1] [review 2]
Death of a Valentine #25  [review 1] [review 2]
Death of a Chimney Sweep #26  [review 1] [review 2]
Death of a Kingfisher #27  [review 1] [review 2]
Death of Yesterday #28  [audio] [ book]
Death of a Policeman #29  [audio] [book]
Death of a Liar #30  [audio] [book]
Death of a Nurse #31  [audio] [book]
Death of a Ghost #32 [audio] [book]

Death of an Honest Man #33 [audio] [book]

The Book

Robinson (Constable and Robinson)
July 2009
1845299523 / 9781845299521
Mystery / 1999 / Highlands, Scotland and Amsterdam, Holland

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2009
© 2009