Thursday 5 June 2014

Scotch Rising by SJ Garland

Scotch Rising (Markinch Series, Volume 1)Scotch Rising by SJ Garland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

With Scottish independence vote due in September, this novel set in 1707 when Scottish and English parliaments agreed to Union is very topical. Just returned from the new world Captain Clyde-Dalton is assigned a post as an excise collector in the highlands of Scotland. This post is punishment for his misdemeanors in the New World but turns quickly into a murder investigation. Battling against the local culture and weather the Captain starts to learn the murder of his predecessor is more complicated than the locals believe. His experience in the New World, as he finds out does not always translate to the village environment he is now in.

SJ Garland has tackled the Scottish language issue by using a set list of old Scottish words and a list of normal English words misspelt to portray the accent. It does not really work that well but it does convey the atmosphere of the setting very well. Markinch today is village in Fife and not the highlands however it does not really affect the story. It is a good story in a historical setting but with the thrills and twists of a good murder mystery.

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