#bookreview UNDER THE MARSH by @gr_halliday Published by @vintagebooks July 21st @NetGalley




Twelve years ago DI Monica Kennedy caught the notorious serial killer Pauline Tosh, imprisoning her for life.

When Pauline asks Monica to visit her at the remote Highlands Carselang prison, the detective thinks she’s playing games.

But then Pauline hands her a hand-drawn map with a cross marking the desolate marsh lands near Inverness and Monica can’t ignore it – she was always convinced there were more victims out there.

And when a body is discovered it looks like they’ve found a new name from Pauline’s kill list.

But things are never that simple…


When serial killer Pauline Tosh, whom Monica help put away for life, 12 years ago, requests a visit from the DI, Monica is cautious. Is Pauline playing games? But when she hands Monica a map, possibly marking where a body is buried, Monica knows she must check it out. Another one of Pauline’s victims? Sure enough, buried under the marshlands, is the body of a young girl.

This is the third book in the series featuring DI Monica Kennedy and having read and enjoyed the first 2, I was looking forward to another story featuring this highly likable MC. Monica makes for a great character, reasonable normal and relatable, unlike some other Scottish detectives : ) and along with her mum and young daughter, it was nice to revisit them all in this new highly engaging read.

Full of twists, new leads and misdirection plotted by the author, I was soon captivated and couldn’t wait to continue with the story.

We follow Monica as she investigates the murder and learn, through small flash backs from the victim herself about what possibly happened to her years previously. Via these flash backs and as we follow the teams investigations we are introduced to an array of possible suspects and persons whom could have been involved. Plus also Monica partner, DS Conor Crawford is acting incedingly out of character. Is he hiding something??

Wonderful descriptions of the harsh, remote but beautiful settings of the surrounding areas these books are based is also another plus point to these books. The whole pace of the story, flow of the writing and narration of these books is what makes them so easy to read. Grabbing my attention straight from the start and holding my interest throughout, this new novel always kept the story moving yet at the same time always allowing room to get a feel for what the characters were thinking and the progression of our main regulars.

I thought I had guessed the murderer, then generally thought I hadn’t, only to realise at the end I had!

Another great addition to this thoroughly enjoyable Scottish crime fiction series, and one which I would highly recommend.

Many thanks to the publisher for my digital ARC via NetGalley. Under The Marsh is out on Thursday!