Cause of Death Book Review

Cause of Death Book Review

Title: Cause of Death
Author: Peter Ritchie
Published: March 1, 2019l Black & White Publishing
No. of Pages: 384
Cover Price: $14.95 Paperback, $4.99 Kindle

Cause of Death is the first installment in the Grace Macallan series by Peter Ritchie. Ritchie spent years on the police force in Scotland, working in numerous departments and getting a first-hand look at what actually goes on in crime in that country. The books in the series take place in Edinburgh, and rules in that country differ from police departments in the US. Grace Macallan is a unique character and has made a few bad decisions that have gotten her a reputation and some enemies. She transfers to Edinburgh from Belfast where she had previously messed up.

While the characters are interesting, they are not particularly well-developed and readers may not feel that they are real. Hopefully, as the series continues, readers will get more information and learn more about them so that they can relate to them. Readers will find that the characters do more drinking and have more sexual encounters than investigating the crimes they are supposed to be solving in the task force, and it is a miracle that they get anything done. The characters seem to be from the lower classes and their language and mannerisms prove it.

Unfortunately, at the beginning of the novel, the prose goes back and forth from real time to the past to let readers know the history of Grace Macallan, and the book is difficult to get into. The foreign setting gives the book an intriguing twist, and, while sometimes hard to understand, makes for educating readers on the differences between the culture in Scotland and the culture in the US.

Readers who enjoy police procedurals will most likely enjoy this series; the setting adds some charm, and the plot is good.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.

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