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The Riverman
DCI William Lorimer #4
Alex Gray

Witness Impulse
January 24, 2017/ ISBN 978-0062659132
Mystery / International Mystery & Crime / Police Procedurals

Reviewed by Linda Morelli


George the Riverman has fished hundreds of people from the Clyde River that flows though Glasgow, Scotland: some alive, some dead. When he discovers the latest corpse, DCI William Lortimer is on the case. The murdered man is Duncan Forbes, partner of the accounting firm of Forbes Macgregor, which was celebrating Michael Turner’s transfer to the United States. Duncan attended the party, but his wife Liz swears that her husband couldn’t have been drunk and fallen in the river – he gave up drinking years before. The pathologist, Dr. Rosie Fergusson, confirms the death is suspicious. Then the Strathclyde Police receive a hysterical call from a female saying she didn’t mean for it to happen and subsequent comparison proves that voice doesn’t belong to Liz. Lorimer believes that the human resources manager at Duncan Forbes recognizes the voice, but she’s murdered before he can pursue that avenue further.

We soon learn that Michael Turner, Duncan’s protégé, discovered something amiss with the accounting firm. Alec Barr, head of the Glasgow office, was not about to let Michael become a whistle blower and reassigns him to the United States. Michael disappears, only complicating the mystery.

I love International crime novels and thought I’d try this mystery set in Scotland a try. I’m so glad I did. The story slowly introduces the characters who play important roles in the mystery, and it’s the characters that kept me hooked. The underlying tension between the various personalities and their relationships took precedence over the actual crimes, adding a unique twist and dimension to the story for me. I especially loved the character Soloman Brightman, a psychologist and profiler, whose insight brings about leads that ultimately help solve the murders. The Riverman was exciting and multifaceted, which made this a fascinating and engrossing read.

Notes: Alex Gray has been awarded the Scottish Association of Writers’ Constable and Pitlochry trophies for her crime writing. A regular on the Scottish bestseller lists, she is the author of thirteen DCI Lorimer novels.

Reviewed 2017