We’re back up to Scotland with this week’s Friday Read, to the picturesque town of St Andrews which is the stomping ground of DCI Andy Gilchrist and his team we’ve come to know and love over seven earlier outings.
This time the action kicks off in an area of outstanding beauty – the Tentsmuir forest and beach in Fife. But what is not so lovely is the boat found washed up on the shore, complete with a mutilated corpse in the hold. And so we begin a journey which takes Andy Gilchrist to the heartland of organised Scottish crime, where the main overlords of the criminal underworld are fighting it out for supremacy . . . and the battle comes to a head not in Glasgow or Edinburgh, but in St Andrews – the very opposite of the rather sleepy university town we all thought it was!
So if you like your crime Scottish, fast-paced and decidedly noir, get stuck into Dead Catch this weekend. And if you’re up in St Andrews this month, have a look in the local bookstores where Frank is planning a number of events – hopefully you may catch him at one of those.
When Joe Christie's fishing boat is swept onto Tentsmuir beach during a fierce storm, a man's mutilated body is found in the hold. DCI Andy Gilchrist of St Andrews CID is called in to investigate. But his murder investigation deepens when he learns that Joe Christie and his boat have been missing for three years.
The police pathologist, Dr Rebecca Cooper, retrieves a five pound note from the dead man's throat. Is this the killer's calling card? And whatever happened to Joe Christie? Cooper offers Gilchrist a clue to the dead man's identity - a scar from a recent operation to repair a bone shattered by a bullet.
The dead man is found to have been on the payroll of big Jock Shepherd, Scotland's premier crime patriarch, and when three more of Shepherd's men turn up brutally murdered, Gilchrist fears a tectonic shift in the criminal underworld.
Gilchrist and his partner, DS Jessie Janes, set off along a murderous trail where they uncover a plot involving drug shipments and police corruption, and come face to face with a man for whom human life means nothing.
PRAISE FOR T.F. MUIR:
'Rebus did it for Edinburgh. Laidlaw did it for Glasgow. Gilchrist might just be the bloke to put St Andrews on the crime fiction map.' Daily Record
'A truly gripping read, with all the makings of a classic series.' Mick Herron
'Gripping and grisly, with plenty of twists and turns that race along with black humour.' Craig Robertson
'DCI Gilchrist gets under your skin. Though, determined, and a bit vulnerable, this character will stay with you long after the last page.' Anna Smith
'Gripping!' Peterborough Telegraph