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by Lin Anderson

Driftnet is the type of book that gets mysteries tagged as “generic” fiction.

It hits all the buttons in a familiar formula: Crime fighter has dark secret that gets threatened by a case; his/her love life is rocky; the crime fighter mistakes a killer for a friend; the suspense and the stakes rise ever higher as the killer continues his bloody work; the crime fighter becomes a target of the killer. The crime fighter escapes/survives to fight more crime.

In this case, forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod is called to the scene of a brutal murder of a young male prostitute. Eerily, the victim resembles Rhona, bringing up her most deeply hidden secret — the baby she gave up for adoption nearly 20 years earlier. A son who would be about the age of the victim.

She’s involved with an Irish jazz saxophonist named Sean. He sounds perfect in every way (even Rhona’s friends think that), but she fears he is cheating on her. Rather than doing the grown up thing and talking to him, she pushes him away.

Surrounding Rhona’s personal story are entwined stories about police battling online pedophile rings, irresponsible journalists, colleagues who have friends involved in sex for hire, corrupt politicians and lonely, unsupported boys who become targets for the pedophiles.

These are serious and contemporary issues that help raise a rather thin story to something more important. But for the most part, Driftnet reads like a book you’ve read before but have forgotten the specific details of.

Driftnet (2003) is the first of the Rhona MacLeod series. The books that follow are:
  • Torch (2004)
  • Deadly Code (2005)
  • Dark Flight (2007)
  • Easy Kill (2008)
  • Final Cut (2009)
  • The Reborn (2010)
  • Picture Her Dead (2011)
  • Paths of the Dead (2014)
  • The Special Dead (2015)
  • None But the Dead (2016)
  • Follow the Dead (2017)
  • Sins of the Dead (2017)

About the Author: Lin Anderson

Lin (Linda) Anderson is the daughter of a police detective. Before becoming a full-time writer, she taught math ad computing at George Watson’s College in Edinburgh. She worked in the Nigerian bush for five years in the 1980s, and wrote several stories about her experiences there. One was broadcast on BBC Radio Four; another was published in the 10th Anniversary Macallan/Scotland on Sunday Short Story Collection.
In addition to the Rhona MacLeod series, she has written a second series featuring Patrick de Courvoisier and a nonfiction book on the making of the movie “Braveheart” called Braveheart: From Hollywood to Holyrood (2004). She has also written three screenplays.
She lives in the Merchiston area of Edinburgh, as do writers Ian Rankin and Alexander McCall Smith.  She, with Alanna Knight and Alex Gray, is a member of the Femmes Fatales crime writing trio.
Anderson along with Gray are among the co-founders of Bloody Scotland, a Tartan Noir and Scottish crime writers festival held in Stirling since 2012.


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