Someone is about to dig too deep...
1869, Sutherland, Scotland, and the Kildonan Gold Rush is in full swing. And then one of the panners is murdered, and strange scratchings left on stones where he is found. Brogar Finn and Sholto McKay are on hand to investigate the extent of the Gold Rush, and it falls to them to solve this murder, and the others that soon follow.
The language is rich with the places and times Gray leads her readers into, from the volcanic eruption in Iceland that covers the land with ash, to the icy wastes of Finnmark, where Scandinavia and Russia meet. And from this snowy frontier, a stranger comes, intent on tracking down the lost loose-ends of his past, all of which end up in Kildonan, and the woman who is single-handedly trying to breathe life back into the valley after the decimation of the Clearances half a century before.
And there are also the Brora Bowls, a valuable historical find discovered when Solveig McCleery blows up the mines down in Brora, which act sets in motion the sequence of events that brings all these disparate people together, with terrible consequences.
Deadly Prospects is a sumptuous and satisfying mystery that explores the rich history and heritage of the Highlands, and in particular of Sutherland, Helmsdale, Brora and Kildonan.
1869, Strontian, Scotland.
Strontian, a village on the Ardnamurchan Peninsula, north west Scotland, is inhabited by mining folk and crofters eking out a living from the unforgiving land, and turning a blind eye to the smugglers who plague the coast.
A bag of bones is pulled out of the water;
The assistant to the Gustav Wengler - eccentric owner of the lead mines - is brutally murdered;
What is the connection?
And what do either have to do with the sundial in Ockle churchyard and the collection of monuments on Wengler’s island known locally as the White Cathedral?
Sholto McKay and Brogar Finn of the Pan-European Mining Company - in pursuit of a potentially valuable mineral from the Strontian mines - arrive and begin their own investigations, unaware that their discoveries will tear more than one life apart.
Hestan Island, marooned in the Solway Firth, tethered to the mainland at low tide by a causeway called The Rack; Hestan home to two men quietly living out their lives, until a boy is almost crushed to death in their tiny copper mine, when their shared past begins to unravel. Over at Balcary House, Brogar Finn and Sholto McKay arrive and soon become involved in the affairs on Hestan, which in turn leads them back through the bloody wars of Crimea and the lands of the Tartars. The third in the Scottish Mystery Series, Hidden Pasts is host to a complex plot that explores the history of a little known part of Scotland, and links it with the wider arena of warfare in the east and how small events can echo down the years, with deadly consequence.