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In Dark Water

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Beneath the surface lie deadly secrets... DI Shona Oliver agreed to move to Dumfries with her ex-banker husband when their teenage daughter got in with a bad crowd in London. As a Glasgow native, she’s back on home turf. Living on the shores of the Solway Firth allows Shona to continue as an RNLI volunteer, and a call out to recover a woman’s body indicates foul play. Police Beneath the surface lie deadly secrets... DI Shona Oliver agreed to move to Dumfries with her ex-banker husband when their teenage daughter got in with a bad crowd in London. As a Glasgow native, she’s back on home turf. Living on the shores of the Solway Firth allows Shona to continue as an RNLI volunteer, and a call out to recover a woman’s body indicates foul play. Police in Cumbria take the case but links back to Scotland keep Shona’s team involved. As they investigate, reports of people trafficking and a spate of thefts from local shops compete for attention with a large scale drug bust. But Shona’s work may all be in vain when those close to her threaten to tear the case apart – and ruin Shona in the process. An unforgettable debut novel by a Scottish crime writer to watch, for fans of Val McDermid, Marion Todd and Lin Anderson.


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Beneath the surface lie deadly secrets... DI Shona Oliver agreed to move to Dumfries with her ex-banker husband when their teenage daughter got in with a bad crowd in London. As a Glasgow native, she’s back on home turf. Living on the shores of the Solway Firth allows Shona to continue as an RNLI volunteer, and a call out to recover a woman’s body indicates foul play. Police Beneath the surface lie deadly secrets... DI Shona Oliver agreed to move to Dumfries with her ex-banker husband when their teenage daughter got in with a bad crowd in London. As a Glasgow native, she’s back on home turf. Living on the shores of the Solway Firth allows Shona to continue as an RNLI volunteer, and a call out to recover a woman’s body indicates foul play. Police in Cumbria take the case but links back to Scotland keep Shona’s team involved. As they investigate, reports of people trafficking and a spate of thefts from local shops compete for attention with a large scale drug bust. But Shona’s work may all be in vain when those close to her threaten to tear the case apart – and ruin Shona in the process. An unforgettable debut novel by a Scottish crime writer to watch, for fans of Val McDermid, Marion Todd and Lin Anderson.

30 review for In Dark Water

  1. 5 out of 5

    Paromjit

    Lynne McEwan begins a promising new Scottish crime series set in Dumfries that features DI Shona Oliver, who has recently moved from the City of London police, with her ex-banker, made redundant husband, Rob, who is now running a B & B business in their new home, and her 15 year old daughter, Becca, who got in with a bad crowd in London. What differentiates this from other crime fiction is that Shona volunteers for the RNLI on search and rescue missions under Tommy McCall on The Margaret Wilson. Lynne McEwan begins a promising new Scottish crime series set in Dumfries that features DI Shona Oliver, who has recently moved from the City of London police, with her ex-banker, made redundant husband, Rob, who is now running a B & B business in their new home, and her 15 year old daughter, Becca, who got in with a bad crowd in London. What differentiates this from other crime fiction is that Shona volunteers for the RNLI on search and rescue missions under Tommy McCall on The Margaret Wilson. It is this role that has her discover the dead body of a young woman, a case that is allocated across the border to DC Daniel Radley of Cumbria Police. Shona's boss, the ambitious DCI Gavin Baird, based at Divisional HQ in Kilmarnock, tells her to drop the case as there is no evidence of murder, and Radley is given the same orders by his boss. Baird is running Operation Fortress focusing on the drugs trade, and it is sucking resources and opportunities for Shona and her team, as they are expected to concentrate on the widespread thefts of baby milk in their region. However, Shona feels a debt to the dead that will not allow her to stop investigating what begins to look like murder in the case of the young woman, and she is aided by a Radley desperate to broaden his policing experience, with both willing to do whatever it takes to get to the truth. As more murders occur with a similar MO occur, Shona underestimates the powerful forces arraigned against her, intent on ensuring no investigations ever take place, and the consequent dangers begin to threaten her career and her family. McEwan creates a great central protagonist in Shona, a Glaswegian woman with secrets, her marriage under threat with Rob's issues, and Becca, awkward, prickly and defiant, finding it hard to settle down in her new school. She is a no nonsense, hard and efficient boss, with a great team under her with DS Murdo O'Halloran, DC Ravi Sarwar, although DC Kate Irving feels more disgruntled, in her view her talents are not being recognised. This is a wonderfully engaging and twisted piece of crime fiction, with a terrific sense of location on the Solway Firth, and so good that I am really looking forward to the next in the series! Many thanks to the publisher for an ARC.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Dana-Adriana B.

    DI Shona Oliver knew it is not going to be easy to deal with the changes in her life. To protect her daughter Shone moves with her family from London to a small city in Scotland. When a body of a young woman is found Shona wants to solve the case, but is not going to be easy. Thank you Netgalley for this book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lou

    In Dark Water is the first instalment in a brand spanking new Dumfries-based police procedural series featuring DI Shona Oliver. When DI Oliver isn't busy solving crime and keeping the streets safe, she can be found working as a volunteer for the RNLI. It's on one of those shifts she and her crew recover a woman’s body from the Solway Firth – a body of water with a shore in Scotland and another in England. The police in Cumbria take the case, but when evidence suggests the unidentified female ha In Dark Water is the first instalment in a brand spanking new Dumfries-based police procedural series featuring DI Shona Oliver. When DI Oliver isn't busy solving crime and keeping the streets safe, she can be found working as a volunteer for the RNLI. It's on one of those shifts she and her crew recover a woman’s body from the Solway Firth – a body of water with a shore in Scotland and another in England. The police in Cumbria take the case, but when evidence suggests the unidentified female had ties to Shona’s patch just over the Scottish border in Dumfries she’s pulled into the investigation. Her glad-handing boss wants her to drop it, but Shona learns of a network of criminal activity that links to wrongdoing and cover-ups right to the top. As she attempts to find justice, her career and family life hang in the balance as she risks everything to reveal the truth. This is a compelling and captivating start to the series in what seems to be a set of books that could go the distance. A detective who volunteers for the RNLI is a stroke of genius on the author’s part, as the icy waters Shona knows so well bring her an abundance of drama on top of her day job. Add to that the atmospheric Dumfries setting, and cross-border complexities of a location so close to England, and there are many opportunities to establish a riveting, unique crime series. I found Lynne McEwan's crime writing packed with atmosphere, empathy and tension, and the world of her heroine, Shona Oliver, who is tenacious and intelligent, is one I can't wait to see expand in the upcoming instalments. A haunting and absorbing novel set against the backdrop of a notoriously stunning but dangerous seascape. Highly recommended.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Elaine Tomasso

    I would like to thank Netgalley and Canelo for an advance copy of In Dark Water, the first novel to feature DI Shona Oliver of the Dumfries Police. Shona, originally from Glasgow, has returned to Scotland from London where she worked for the City of London Police. Her 15 year old daughter had fallen in with a bad crowd and her husband Rob, a banker, had been made redundant so it was time for a change. When volunteering with the RNLI her crew find the body of a young woman. The Cumbrian force take I would like to thank Netgalley and Canelo for an advance copy of In Dark Water, the first novel to feature DI Shona Oliver of the Dumfries Police. Shona, originally from Glasgow, has returned to Scotland from London where she worked for the City of London Police. Her 15 year old daughter had fallen in with a bad crowd and her husband Rob, a banker, had been made redundant so it was time for a change. When volunteering with the RNLI her crew find the body of a young woman. The Cumbrian force take charge of her death investigation, but with links to her area Shona is keen to stay involved. She soon finds herself embroiled in a wider investigation. I thoroughly enjoyed In Dark Water, which is an engrossing read that expands from one death into a much larger and more wide ranging investigation with long reach. I was impressed with how the author brings it all the disparate elements together into a cohesive whole with ease and a touch of humour. It makes for an interesting and absorbing read. The plot is interesting from the beginning with a young girl in trouble. My mind started whirring immediately and didn’t let up until all the facts were in. None of it is particularly surprising as the perpetrators are fairly obvious from the start, but the why, how and their actions are full of twists and turns, continually giving the reader more to think about and a large dollop of uncertainty about the outcome. I like Shona Oliver as she’s not to be messed with as we say up here. She’s tough (the Ringo story made me laugh), dedicated and smart. Her team call her wee Shona behind her back, although woe betide them if she finds out. She probably does know but none of them are prepared to find out and that’s her superpower- high standards and support. She asks a lot and gives a lot and they love her for it. For readers who like a sense of place the novel has some lovely descriptions of the Solway Firth and its surroundings. In Dark Water is a good read and I’m already looking forward to the sequel, so I have no hesitation in recommending it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Geha

    REVIEW In Dark Water by Lynne McEwan Detective Shona Oliver #1 One of my personal pleasures is reading a debut author’s first book and being able to say I thoroughly enjoyed it…and this book was one that I honestly found held my attention from beginning to end. I can see that this author has a brilliant future and will only improve as she continues to hone her craft. What I liked: * The setting: Dumfries, Scotland * Shona: DI with considerable experience, excellent team leader, professional, compass REVIEW In Dark Water by Lynne McEwan Detective Shona Oliver #1 One of my personal pleasures is reading a debut author’s first book and being able to say I thoroughly enjoyed it…and this book was one that I honestly found held my attention from beginning to end. I can see that this author has a brilliant future and will only improve as she continues to hone her craft. What I liked: * The setting: Dumfries, Scotland * Shona: DI with considerable experience, excellent team leader, professional, compassionate, volunteers as lifeboat rescuer, prioritizes, excellent at her job, wife, mother, dedicated to what she believes in. * Meeting the team Shona works with – Can see potential for them in the future * Rob: Shona’s husband has had some trouble in the past and could end up in trouble in the future. I look forward to seeing how his character will develop in the future. * Becca: Shona’s teenage daughter, had some trouble in London, trying to find her way in her new setting, eager to find out how her life will unfold. * RNLI: learning that the letters stand for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and that they put their lives on the line saving others. * The police procedural aspect of the book * The writing and plot * That all of the threads of the story were tied up by the end of the book. * The few surprises I wasn’t expecting – though much was predictable, too. * That good eventually overcame evil What I didn’t like: * What and who I was meant to dislike ~ it was easy to hate those that were up to no good. * The ease with which the bad guys did what they did and knowing that it is happening more often than we might think. Did I enjoy this book? Yes Would I read more in this series? Yes What do I hope for in book two? More information about Shona, her family, and backstory Thank you to NetGalley and CaneloCrime for the ARC – This is my honest review. 4-5 Stars

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sophie Narey (Bookreview- aholic)

    Looking for a suspense detective mystery to grab your attention? Look no further! I thought that this was a really great read, I read this within a couple of days it was that good I just couldn't stop reading it ! This is the first book in the series (hopefully not the last!) , it features the wonderful clever and talented DI Shona Oliver and is set partly in bonny Scotland ! I personally love thrillers set in Scotland I think they have the best settings and this one is no different you can clos Looking for a suspense detective mystery to grab your attention? Look no further! I thought that this was a really great read, I read this within a couple of days it was that good I just couldn't stop reading it ! This is the first book in the series (hopefully not the last!) , it features the wonderful clever and talented DI Shona Oliver and is set partly in bonny Scotland ! I personally love thrillers set in Scotland I think they have the best settings and this one is no different you can close your eyes and you are transported there watching the scenes unravel. It does feel slightly like you are being put on a different story line with the raids etc but everything does tie together at the end . It is a brilliantly written book, that held my attention rom the first page , I would definitely recommend this book to fans of detective mystery books and I think the author is definitely going places and is one to keep your eye on!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Pgchuis

    I received a copy of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. 3.5* rounded down. This was a police procedural in which Police Scotland liaised with the Cumbria force, initially over the discovery of a body right on the Scotland/England border. I found it well-written, but a little long. There was a lot going on, as the bodies piled up, quite apart from the county lines co-ordinated raids and the baby milk thefts (yes, really). Since this was a novel, everything turned out to be linked! Then t I received a copy of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. 3.5* rounded down. This was a police procedural in which Police Scotland liaised with the Cumbria force, initially over the discovery of a body right on the Scotland/England border. I found it well-written, but a little long. There was a lot going on, as the bodies piled up, quite apart from the county lines co-ordinated raids and the baby milk thefts (yes, really). Since this was a novel, everything turned out to be linked! Then there was Shona's personal life, which was eventful too, and her differences of opinion with her senior officer. It all felt a bit wearing. The very ending wrapped things up a bit too neatly to be entirely realistic, but presumably the next instalment will show how Shona's family situation works itself out.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ileana Muñoz

    In Dark Water is a very well written suspense novel. There are enough twists and turns to keep you interested until the very end. When DI Shona finds a body on the shores of Solway Firth it's evident this was no ordinary drowning. The descriptions were so vivid it made me feel as if I was right there in Scotland. The characters were well-crafted and the ending was a surprise. Brilliant! In Dark Water is a very well written suspense novel. There are enough twists and turns to keep you interested until the very end. When DI Shona finds a body on the shores of Solway Firth it's evident this was no ordinary drowning. The descriptions were so vivid it made me feel as if I was right there in Scotland. The characters were well-crafted and the ending was a surprise. Brilliant!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Yvonne (It's All About Books)

    Finished reading: May 21st 2021 "She'd had two hours' rest in the last twenty-four, but she welcomed the pain, the tiredness. This was what hard graft felt like, and hard graft was how you got results." *** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Canelo in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! *** (view spoiler)[ I always enjoy discovering new detective thrillers and there was just something about the blurb of In Dark Water that caught my attention immediately. T Finished reading: May 21st 2021 "She'd had two hours' rest in the last twenty-four, but she welcomed the pain, the tiredness. This was what hard graft felt like, and hard graft was how you got results." *** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Canelo in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! *** (view spoiler)[ I always enjoy discovering new detective thrillers and there was just something about the blurb of In Dark Water that caught my attention immediately. The promise of a lifeboat angle as well as more than one investigation to follow sounded like an excellent start for this new series, and the Scottish setting was a bonus as well. I've been looking forward to start this debut ever since it started hanging out on my kindle, and I have to say that it turned out to be a solid debut and first book of a detective series. The first thing that stands out in In Dark Water is the Scottish setting of course. The many descriptions of the setting really made the small Scottish towns come alive and I loved that the author incorporated Scottish phrases into the dialogues. This gave the story a more authentic feel and definitely made my inner philologist happy. It is quite easy to understand the meaning from the context, so I had no problems understanding those parts of the dialogues and it didn't slow me down while reading. I also really liked the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) element in the story. The fact that our new lead character Shona Oliver not only is a detective, but also a RNLI volunteer really gives the story an unique touch. The fact that the lifeboat center and rescues play a significant role in the plot really help making this detective thriller stand out, and I always like an original angle in a story. I also enjoyed learning a bit more about the RNLI too and how they work, and it was great to see how this element was incorporated into the plot. In Dark Water initially seems to be an investigation into the body of a woman Shona found while answering a RNLI call, but the plot soon becomes a lot more complicated. Shona and her team will have a lot more cases to investigate along the way, and a lot of things are happening in her personal life as well. Personally, I found the plot to be a tad too overburdened by so many different elements and how things ended up evolving was both a bit farfetched and too convenient. I did like the part involving liaison with the Cumbria police and Dan was a great addition as a character, but as a whole I felt like this story wanted to juggle too many different elements while also having a clean ending. I'm also still not 100% sure what to make of Wee Shona herself. While I still love the fact that she is a RNLI volunteer and I like the way she investigates, there was also something about her that didn't work for me. The whole 'secret' she was hiding was made bigger than it was, and her husband Rob came over as a bit of a cliche. I do see a lot of potential with her team as I mostly liked their dynamics and banter. As a whole, In Dark Water was a solid start of a new detective series that mixes a RNLI angle with multiple investigations. The Scottish setting is a treat! (hide spoiler)] P.S. Find more of my reviews here.

  10. 5 out of 5

    The Cookster

    Rating: 3.8/5 For her debut crime novel Lynne McEwan has opted to venture into the crowded and competitive world of police procedurals - and a fine job she has made of it too. This is a genre that is littered with potential pitfalls for any author, let alone a debut novelist. I have lost count of the number of mediocre examples I have read, featuring yet another maverick lead investigator with hackneyed character flaws, leading a stereotypical team of detectives in melodramatic pursuit of an impla Rating: 3.8/5 For her debut crime novel Lynne McEwan has opted to venture into the crowded and competitive world of police procedurals - and a fine job she has made of it too. This is a genre that is littered with potential pitfalls for any author, let alone a debut novelist. I have lost count of the number of mediocre examples I have read, featuring yet another maverick lead investigator with hackneyed character flaws, leading a stereotypical team of detectives in melodramatic pursuit of an implausible perpetrator. Lynne McEwan has succeeded in producing something far better than that. Although originating from Glasgow, D.I. Shona Oliver has spent much of her career working in London, but events have transpired that have led to her returning north of the border to Dumfries and Galloway. Here, in addition to her policing duties, Shona also volunteers for the RNLI covering the waters of the Solway Firth. While on a "shout", Shona is part of the RNLI team that discovers the dead body of a woman. She suspects foul play and sets about investigating matters further. I have visited the Solway coast many times, so it made for a refreshing bonus to come across places being referenced that would not normally figure in a piece of literary fiction. However, that little pleasantry aside, Lynne McEwan deserves great credit for producing an authentic piece of crime fiction populated with well-drawn, credible protagonists. This is enhanced still further by dialogue that is impressively realistic and appropriate. The author really does succeed in painting characters who can step out from the pages of the book and be relatable in real life. One of the inherent dangers of the police procedural genre is that in striving for authenticity, there is a risk that the prose can become a bit turgid and that the progression of the narrative can be stymied. There was a period in the central block of this novel when I felt that it was drifting into these perilous waters. Thankfully, this lull didn't prove to be terminal and it wasn't overly long before the pace of the storyline was back on track. "In Dark Water" marks a promising debut for Lynne McEwan and I will be keeping an eye out for her subsequent publications.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Susan - Read, Read, No Sleep, Repeat

    In Dark Water is a crime based novel based in the south west corner of Scotland and the north west corner of England. The action starts with DI Shona Oliver, in her free-time capacity as a lifeboat volunteer, being sent out with the lifeboat crew to pick up a body spotted in the Solway Firth. The identification of the dead girl, found to be murdered, uncovers a series of crimes and more murders as the investigation deepens. Shona has recently moved back to her native Scotland from London for perso In Dark Water is a crime based novel based in the south west corner of Scotland and the north west corner of England. The action starts with DI Shona Oliver, in her free-time capacity as a lifeboat volunteer, being sent out with the lifeboat crew to pick up a body spotted in the Solway Firth. The identification of the dead girl, found to be murdered, uncovers a series of crimes and more murders as the investigation deepens. Shona has recently moved back to her native Scotland from London for personal reasons and is now working for Dumfries CID. She takes on the investigation aided by her trusty right hand man, DS Murdo O’ Halloran with cross border assistance from DC Dan Ridley of Cumbria Police which gives rise to some Scotland/England rivalry. Shona might be on top of her game at work, but her home life is in chaos as her teenage daughter is in trouble at school and her ex banker husband has his own personal struggles. Her family life is not at all unexpected in this particular genre! I really liked Shona or ‘wee Shona’ as her colleagues called her behind her back, but wouldn’t dare to her face! She was professional, thorough and tenacious and despite being pushed to quickly ‘bury’ these deaths as inconsequential, she sticks to her task to uncover the truth with steely focus. The story is very well written and moves along at a good pace with enough twists and turns to hold my interest until the end. The scenery and landscape is beautifully described and the author really brings Scotland to life. All of the characters were very well described and the author did a great job of bringing them to life. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series to learn more about the characters and see how they develop. I’d recommend Dark Water to all crime fiction fans. Lynne McEwan is definitely an author to watch!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Emma (_bookswithemma)

    Beneath the surface lie deadly secrets... DI Shona Oliver agreed to move to Dumfries with her ex-banker husband when their teenage daughter got in with a bad crowd in London. As a Glasgow native, she’s back on home turf. Living on the shores of the Solway Firth allows Shona to continue as an RNLI volunteer, and a call out to recover a woman’s body indicates foul play. Police in Cumbria take the case but links back to Scotland keep Shona’s team involved. As they investigate, reports of people traff Beneath the surface lie deadly secrets... DI Shona Oliver agreed to move to Dumfries with her ex-banker husband when their teenage daughter got in with a bad crowd in London. As a Glasgow native, she’s back on home turf. Living on the shores of the Solway Firth allows Shona to continue as an RNLI volunteer, and a call out to recover a woman’s body indicates foul play. Police in Cumbria take the case but links back to Scotland keep Shona’s team involved. As they investigate, reports of people trafficking and a spate of thefts from local shops compete for attention with a large scale drug bust. But Shona’s work may all be in vain when those close to her threaten to tear the case apart – and ruin Shona in the process. An unforgettable debut novel by a Scottish crime writer to watch, for fans of Val McDermid, Marion Todd and Lin Anderson. This book is beautifully written and your drawn in from the first few pages. Each character is created and described perfectly it’s so easy to visualise the characters, settings and scenes. The book is the first in a series (hopefully!) and it’s definitely an author I would read again. It is set in bonnie Scotland which made it that bit special too. I did find some points of the story going off in different tangents or focus too long on one section but it all came together so well it didn’t even bother me. Overall a good wee read that kept me gripped and in suspense until the end. Thank you to @lovebookstours @lynnejmcewanwriter @canelo_co for the gifted copy.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    DI Shona Oliver’s personal life and career collide in In Dark Water, the first in an excellent and creative new Scottish police procedural series by the talented Lynne McEwan. Shona Oliver is DI in Dumfries, having relocated with her family for a simpler life than that in London. Her husband Rob lost his job in finance and their daughter Becca had problems in school. So with Becca in a new environment and Rob managing their new B & B, life should be less complicated. It’s not. Shona volunteers wit DI Shona Oliver’s personal life and career collide in In Dark Water, the first in an excellent and creative new Scottish police procedural series by the talented Lynne McEwan. Shona Oliver is DI in Dumfries, having relocated with her family for a simpler life than that in London. Her husband Rob lost his job in finance and their daughter Becca had problems in school. So with Becca in a new environment and Rob managing their new B & B, life should be less complicated. It’s not. Shona volunteers with the local lifeboat station and when an emergency call leads to the body of a murdered young woman, the nearby Cumbrian (England) police force is also involved. Shona’s team is eager to investigate this murder because the other case they are working on is the mysterious and unexciting theft of baby formula. How are those thefts connected to a drug ring in the area? And why is Shona told to end her investigation? What did Shona and Rob do in London that has caused problems for them in Dumfries? In Dark Water shines with a complicated, satisfying plot line, well developed characters, especially Shona, Dan, Kate and Ravi. Shona and Rob’s relationship is troubled and I look forward to seeing how this develops in the next in the series. I especially enjoyed learning about the lifeboat station volunteers. This series has the potential to be one of the best! 5 stars. Thank yo to NetGalley, Canelo Crime and Lynne McEwan for this ARC.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    A new police procedural featuring DI Shona Oliver who has recently moved from London to Scotland. As her team struggle to solve existing crimes. bodies start turning up and Shona tries to investigate these murders. There was plenty of substance in the story and some good twists however, I felt the ending was a bit too neat. Throughout the story, the drama built up and the pace speeded up considerably towards the end. Shona is extremely professional and thorough at work, but her home life is far A new police procedural featuring DI Shona Oliver who has recently moved from London to Scotland. As her team struggle to solve existing crimes. bodies start turning up and Shona tries to investigate these murders. There was plenty of substance in the story and some good twists however, I felt the ending was a bit too neat. Throughout the story, the drama built up and the pace speeded up considerably towards the end. Shona is extremely professional and thorough at work, but her home life is far more chaotic. I liked the contrast this gave to the story, although I found the character of her husband Rob rather lacked depth. The characters of her team members were nicely developed as the story progressed and I would say that there is plenty of scope to develop them further in later books in this series. Some of the outcomes of the story were fairly predictable. The basic formula for the book was no different to many of the police procedurals already out there. The RNLI angle was the only true novelty. Having said that, I did enjoy reading this book. I look forward to reading the second in the series and seeing how the characters develop. I would give this 7/10, rounded down to 3 stars. I received a free review copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for my honest and unedited review.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    I want to thank NetGalley, the author, Lynne McEwan, and the publisher, Canelo Crime, for allowing me to read and review this book, In Dark Water. DI Shona Oliver, her husband, Rob, and their daughter, Rebecca, have moved from London to Dumfriesshire, Scotland in order to start over. In addition to her police job, she volunteers for the lifeboat crew on her time off. On one mission they find the body of a young woman, which they take to a nearby town in England who will be assigned the investigat I want to thank NetGalley, the author, Lynne McEwan, and the publisher, Canelo Crime, for allowing me to read and review this book, In Dark Water. DI Shona Oliver, her husband, Rob, and their daughter, Rebecca, have moved from London to Dumfriesshire, Scotland in order to start over. In addition to her police job, she volunteers for the lifeboat crew on her time off. On one mission they find the body of a young woman, which they take to a nearby town in England who will be assigned the investigation. There, Shonna meets DC Dan Ridley, who promises to keep her informed. This starts a partnership between police forces that do not always get along (the old Scottish/English controversy). When additional bodies are found, which might be linked to a drug ring and baby milk thefts, Shona and her team work with Dan to try and find the murderers. When she finds herself at odds with her supervisor, Shona must try and ‘fly under the radar’ to solve the crimes. I enjoyed this police procedural, as the plot was well thought out and made Shona a good policewoman, even while struggling with some major issues in her personal life.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ed Taylor

    The first in a new series of Scottish police procedurals by new (I believe) author Lynne McEwan, this title certainly shows promise. DI Shona Oliver has recently moved to Scotland where she spends much of her free time as an RNLI volunteer. The plot is tightly constructed and hangs together well, better than some more established authors, and whilst the writing isn't going to win any big awards, McEwan certainly knows how to write and to entertain. However, on a purely personal level, I failed to The first in a new series of Scottish police procedurals by new (I believe) author Lynne McEwan, this title certainly shows promise. DI Shona Oliver has recently moved to Scotland where she spends much of her free time as an RNLI volunteer. The plot is tightly constructed and hangs together well, better than some more established authors, and whilst the writing isn't going to win any big awards, McEwan certainly knows how to write and to entertain. However, on a purely personal level, I failed to really engage with the book. I'm not sure what the problem was, but for me there is just a certain spark missing which could push this author to the next level...there is definitely potential for her to be up there with the big hitters. I'm pleased I gave the book a go, and will probably read more by this author if I have the chance to do so - I believe that the series will grow in strength as the author's writing matures. Three stars is perhaps a little harsh, but that's still 60% - I just don't think it quite merits the fourth star yet, although I am sure the next in the series will. A good find and worth reading.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

    DI Shona Oliver had worked in London for many years but when her daughter Becca, got in with a bad crowd & her husband was made redundant they moved to Dumfries where the pace of life is slower & where Rob could run their B & B. As she had been a volunteer with the Thames Lifeboat she continued to volunteer here. On a 'shout' a body is found on a sandbank midway between England & Scotland it eventually falls to their division of Police Scotland with liaison with Dan of Cumbria police. Her boss i DI Shona Oliver had worked in London for many years but when her daughter Becca, got in with a bad crowd & her husband was made redundant they moved to Dumfries where the pace of life is slower & where Rob could run their B & B. As she had been a volunteer with the Thames Lifeboat she continued to volunteer here. On a 'shout' a body is found on a sandbank midway between England & Scotland it eventually falls to their division of Police Scotland with liaison with Dan of Cumbria police. Her boss is not very interested. He has his eye on the cases that bring in most kudos & with clean up rates. However, Shona cannot rest till she finds out her identity & how she got there. Before long it seems that the girl's death may have links to other things going on & Shona may have stirred up a hornet's nest. Starting a new series of police procedurals is not without its hazards. There are so many excellent series on the market already, but Lynne McEwan has introduced a likeable new cop in an area which is a new setting- the cross border element is an interesting element. This was a fast paced & an enjoyable read & I'm already looking forward to meeting 'Wee Shona' again!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    A good and realistic detective story set on th Scottish/Cumbrian borders. The detective inspector is a woman with a past. Shona has worked hard to overcome her difficult childhood and has recently moved up to this area from London due to problems whih are gradually revealed. She also volunteers for the lifeboat in her village. The crime(s) are put together well, at first seemingly unrelated incidents and deaths and a couple of twists, one was unexpected, another not so much. Shona's personal life A good and realistic detective story set on th Scottish/Cumbrian borders. The detective inspector is a woman with a past. Shona has worked hard to overcome her difficult childhood and has recently moved up to this area from London due to problems whih are gradually revealed. She also volunteers for the lifeboat in her village. The crime(s) are put together well, at first seemingly unrelated incidents and deaths and a couple of twists, one was unexpected, another not so much. Shona's personal life is also revealed bit by bit . My one grouse about this book is that the characters of her husband and daughter could have been portrayed in more depth. There is more detail as the book progresses, but the description of the relationships felt little two-dimensional at times. I also took a little while to get to know the team members I do hope that there will be more of this series, as we get to know the team and those around them better,my criticism will become irrelevant Thank you to Net Galley, Canelo and the author for a great read in exchange for an honest review

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ivona

    The first book is fantastic! There are enough twists and turns to keep you guessing. Shona Oliver, her husband Rob, and their teenage daughter Becca moved from London to Dumfries. Scotland, each with its very own set of problems, some of which are hidden. Shona is a DI (Detective Inspector) by day and an RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) volunteer by night. One day, she and her RNLI team got a call to recover a young woman's body right on the Scotland/English border. As DI Shona knows, t The first book is fantastic! There are enough twists and turns to keep you guessing. Shona Oliver, her husband Rob, and their teenage daughter Becca moved from London to Dumfries. Scotland, each with its very own set of problems, some of which are hidden. Shona is a DI (Detective Inspector) by day and an RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) volunteer by night. One day, she and her RNLI team got a call to recover a young woman's body right on the Scotland/English border. As DI Shona knows, that is not the usual case of drowning and there is something more. Shona and her team work with Dan to try to uncover the murderers when more bodies are discovered, which could be linked to a drug network and baby milk thefts. Shona must strive to ‘fly under the radar' to solve the crimes when she is at odds with her boss. The plot was so real that I felt as if I were in Scotland right then. The characters were well-developed, and the ending was unexpected. I'm excited to see how the other characters evolve in the following books. Thanks, NetGalley, for the opportunity to read and review this book. Thank you to Lynne McEwan for this amazing book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    Yes! New author and a new series!!! In Dark Water by Lynne McEwan is the first installment in the new Detective Shona Oliver series and it was a great read especially as its full of twists and turns throughout enough twists that will keep you hooked till the end. Set in part of beautiful Scotland Detective Shona Oliver agreed to move to Dumfries with her ex-banker husband when their teenage daughter got in with a bad crowd in London. As a Glasgow native, she’s back on home turf. Then, Detective Yes! New author and a new series!!! In Dark Water by Lynne McEwan is the first installment in the new Detective Shona Oliver series and it was a great read especially as its full of twists and turns throughout enough twists that will keep you hooked till the end. Set in part of beautiful Scotland Detective Shona Oliver agreed to move to Dumfries with her ex-banker husband when their teenage daughter got in with a bad crowd in London. As a Glasgow native, she’s back on home turf. Then, Detective Shona Oliver continue as an RNLI volunteer, and finds a body on the shores of Solway Firth it's evident this was no ordinary drowning and is foul play. This is when the book begins and it did not disappoint. The characters were well-crafted and the ending was brilliant. I highly recommend this book and looking forward to Lynne's next book. Big thank you NetGalley, Jane Isaac and Canelo Crime for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an review; all opinions are my own

  21. 4 out of 5

    Hannelore Cheney

    Thank you Netgalley and Canelo Crime for the eARC. This is the first in the DI Shona Oliver series; a promising start. Shona, husband and daughter have moved from London to Dumfries in Scotland, back to Shona's roots. She's a RNLI volunteer on top of her job as a detective, mother and wife, which at times is overwhelming. She helps pull a dead girl from the water, right on the border of Scotland and England. This obvious murder is handled out of England with the help of Shona's team. The team is a Thank you Netgalley and Canelo Crime for the eARC. This is the first in the DI Shona Oliver series; a promising start. Shona, husband and daughter have moved from London to Dumfries in Scotland, back to Shona's roots. She's a RNLI volunteer on top of her job as a detective, mother and wife, which at times is overwhelming. She helps pull a dead girl from the water, right on the border of Scotland and England. This obvious murder is handled out of England with the help of Shona's team. The team is also looking into large thefts of baby foods, people trafficking and drug smuggling, keeping them very busy indeed. I enjoyed this book, and will definitely read the next one. Shona is a bit brusque, so I'm not quite sure if I like her yet, but hopefully I she will grow on me. I love the Scottish setting, having spent a lot of time in Glasgow and definitely recommend this book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Daisy Hollands

    What I loved most about this book was the ability to switch your perceptions and lead you one way and then thanks to a massive swerve you get taken down another route. The main character, Shona - in the opening pages it seems like she’s a B & B landlady but within seconds she is a part of the local lifeboat crew and then several gruesome pages later - ohhh she’s actually a policewoman! (That’s not a spoiler, she’s literally called DI Shona Oliver on the front cover). This book is beautifully wri What I loved most about this book was the ability to switch your perceptions and lead you one way and then thanks to a massive swerve you get taken down another route. The main character, Shona - in the opening pages it seems like she’s a B & B landlady but within seconds she is a part of the local lifeboat crew and then several gruesome pages later - ohhh she’s actually a policewoman! (That’s not a spoiler, she’s literally called DI Shona Oliver on the front cover). This book is beautifully written, each character drawn to perfection, making it easy for them to be visualised. The story is gripping too and definitely left me wanting more. Lynne McEwan’s writing is descriptive and evocative - this is a book you will become immersed in very quickly. Can’t wait to read more from this author. Highly recommended

  23. 4 out of 5

    Amy (Amy_justonemorechapter)

    I was absolutely hooked from the minute I opened the book. It was well written and the plot was really easy to follow, surprising as there were a number of characters. I enjoyed reading and following the investigation through the eyes of Shona. I guessed who was responsible from about half way through, but that didn’t ruin the plot only made it more enjoyable. The book explores the personalities of the team of officers working on the case. Shona’s home life is portrayed in the book, which was fa I was absolutely hooked from the minute I opened the book. It was well written and the plot was really easy to follow, surprising as there were a number of characters. I enjoyed reading and following the investigation through the eyes of Shona. I guessed who was responsible from about half way through, but that didn’t ruin the plot only made it more enjoyable. The book explores the personalities of the team of officers working on the case. Shona’s home life is portrayed in the book, which was far from calm. The sense of loyalty Shona had from her team was really nice to read, they rallied round her and supported her like a family would. Shona is quite a formidable woman however, when her life is being turned upside down I had so much empathy for her and routed for her to bring those responsible to justice. This was such a tense and thrilling book, but equally so enjoyable to read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ilona

    After a slow start I got pulled into this first book featuring Detective Shona Oliver, and then it was not to be put down! Shona, her husband and their teenage daughter Becca move from London to Dumfries, Scotland, each are leaving behind troubles, some hidden. DI during the day and on her off time a RNLI volunteer (Royal National Lifeboat Institution), Shona is part of a body recovery of a young woman, who’s death as a DI she investigates and vows to find the killer(s). Not all goes as planned, After a slow start I got pulled into this first book featuring Detective Shona Oliver, and then it was not to be put down! Shona, her husband and their teenage daughter Becca move from London to Dumfries, Scotland, each are leaving behind troubles, some hidden. DI during the day and on her off time a RNLI volunteer (Royal National Lifeboat Institution), Shona is part of a body recovery of a young woman, who’s death as a DI she investigates and vows to find the killer(s). Not all goes as planned, a big drug operation, politics, past catching up, … ultimately Shona gets relieved of her duties. Great first book! Looking forward to seeing how the other characters develop in next books. Thank you to NetGalley and Canelo Crime for a chance to read this book for my honest opinion.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jane Hunt

    This is a well-written story with a good mix of police procedural and family drama. The setting is one I've not read about before, giving the story an added dimension of interest. The main protagonist, Detective Inspector Shona Oliver, is a well-rounded character juggling a challenging career, important voluntary work and family life, sometimes unsuccessfully. This is the first book in a series, and there is a degree of world-building that affects the plot's pacing. The characters are complex, an This is a well-written story with a good mix of police procedural and family drama. The setting is one I've not read about before, giving the story an added dimension of interest. The main protagonist, Detective Inspector Shona Oliver, is a well-rounded character juggling a challenging career, important voluntary work and family life, sometimes unsuccessfully. This is the first book in a series, and there is a degree of world-building that affects the plot's pacing. The characters are complex, and the straightforward plot has twists and a few surprises, making me want to read the next one. A positive start to a police procedural series set on the Scottish borders. I received a copy of this book from the author and Canelo in return for an honest review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Chapman Gough

    Set on the border of Dumfries, Scotland and Cumbria, England we follow DI Shona Oliver as she assists the English police after a body is recovered whilst she is on shift as a voluntary lifeboat assistant. I really enjoyed getting to know Shona, she is ballsy and fierce yet has a real caring and humble side to her, wanting to focus her policing on the community. I loved the pacing of the novel and I enjoyed the unpredictability of it as I was able to follow the plot of the story and character dev Set on the border of Dumfries, Scotland and Cumbria, England we follow DI Shona Oliver as she assists the English police after a body is recovered whilst she is on shift as a voluntary lifeboat assistant. I really enjoyed getting to know Shona, she is ballsy and fierce yet has a real caring and humble side to her, wanting to focus her policing on the community. I loved the pacing of the novel and I enjoyed the unpredictability of it as I was able to follow the plot of the story and character development at a steady and exciting phase. This is a brilliant read for those who love your crime thrillers with meaty characters that you can get stuck into I will be watching out for more Lynn McEwan reads!!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ceri

    What a debut novel!! If, like me, your a lover of police/detective programs, I think you will love this book. The story follows DCI Shona Oliver as she tries to solve the crime surrounding the body of a young girl washing up on the Scottish shore. I loved how as your reading along, you could image it all and your forever trying to guess and figure out where everything is going. It's my first time reading this type of detective book and I will definitely to be trying more in this style, I am conver What a debut novel!! If, like me, your a lover of police/detective programs, I think you will love this book. The story follows DCI Shona Oliver as she tries to solve the crime surrounding the body of a young girl washing up on the Scottish shore. I loved how as your reading along, you could image it all and your forever trying to guess and figure out where everything is going. It's my first time reading this type of detective book and I will definitely to be trying more in this style, I am converted 🤣 This is the first book in the series and honestly I can't wait to read more by the author! Such a good book, I would recommend to all.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    This is the first in a series thay follows DI Shona Oliver and it drew me in right away. I loved this character with all her flaws. I loved that she mixed her detective's job with a job that helps her save people. It starts out with one death and just snowballs from there. I really enjoyed the build up of the story and the ways the pieces of the puzzle were given a little bit at a time. I was definately caught off guard with the twist of the story as I wasn't sure where it was going. I enjoyed t This is the first in a series thay follows DI Shona Oliver and it drew me in right away. I loved this character with all her flaws. I loved that she mixed her detective's job with a job that helps her save people. It starts out with one death and just snowballs from there. I really enjoyed the build up of the story and the ways the pieces of the puzzle were given a little bit at a time. I was definately caught off guard with the twist of the story as I wasn't sure where it was going. I enjoyed this story and am excited to see where she takes it in the next book. I would recommend to anyone who likes crime fiction

  29. 5 out of 5

    D.M. Grant

    What a ride! Lynne McEwan pulled me into and wouldn’t let me go! Shona’s drive to have a career, a working marriage, and survive motherhood was all too real, as were her struggles to maintain them. Every scene was so vividly described I barely had to use my imagination. Every character had its place within the story, and while I am not usually a fan of books that have a lot of characters, I don’t think this story would have worked without even one of them. If you enjoy suspenseful police procedu What a ride! Lynne McEwan pulled me into and wouldn’t let me go! Shona’s drive to have a career, a working marriage, and survive motherhood was all too real, as were her struggles to maintain them. Every scene was so vividly described I barely had to use my imagination. Every character had its place within the story, and while I am not usually a fan of books that have a lot of characters, I don’t think this story would have worked without even one of them. If you enjoy suspenseful police procedurals, then do yourself a favor and add this to your shelf! Bravo! -D. M. Grant

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bianca Duthie

    I wanted to read this as it was a crime story based in Scotland and I always think the closeness to home lends itself to more enjoyment of the book. This definitely had some Stuart MacBride edges to it which I love. Really interesting, great characters. I hope there's a follow up to it, I think 'Wee Shona' will make a fantastic leading character for a series. I thought the setting down in Dumfries was great, a really clever idea to have that crossover with Cumbrian Police. Some bits were a bit pr I wanted to read this as it was a crime story based in Scotland and I always think the closeness to home lends itself to more enjoyment of the book. This definitely had some Stuart MacBride edges to it which I love. Really interesting, great characters. I hope there's a follow up to it, I think 'Wee Shona' will make a fantastic leading character for a series. I thought the setting down in Dumfries was great, a really clever idea to have that crossover with Cumbrian Police. Some bits were a bit predictable but then others came right out of left field so I really enjoyed it overall.

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