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The Seal King Murders
Inspector Faro series, No 2
Alanna Knight

Allison and Busby
10 January 2011/ ISBN 0749009659
Mystery / 1861 Orkney Islands
Amazon US || UK

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde

This is the second in the series of books dealing with Inspector Faro’s early career before he moved to London and started moving in higher circles. His mentor in the police force sends him back to his home in Orkney to solve what he thinks is possibly a murder. Young Dave Claydon was a good swimmer and yet he drowned in mysterious circumstances. At the same time, artefacts recovered from a sunken Armada galleon went missing, and it is up to Faro to investigate both. He also has to field his mother’s attempts to find him a wife and solve a mystery connected with island folklore.

I’ve followed and enjoyed this series for years, and applaud Ms Knight’s decision to write about Faro’s early years in the force. There aren’t many novels set on Orkney in the 1860s either, and it is soon clear that this is a setting where the author is using knowledge based on frequent visits and research. This is not, as the series goes, a particularly exciting book and at times the plot treads water, but there is always something to enjoy. Sometimes it is descriptions of the islands or their unique folklore and way of life, or watching relationships develop that affect what happens in the later books. The crime aspects of the plot are not, therefore, always in the forefront of the action, something which can only happen in a higher entry in a well-loved series. So, read this one for the characters, the setting or the ambience rather than the plot.

Reviewer's Note:
Reviewed 2011
© 2011