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on 14 July 2013
I bought this book when it was the Kindle daily deal, but realising that it was the second in a series, decided to read 'The Sea Detective' first, and would definitely recommend doing it that way. The character of Cal McGill is well drawn in the first book and he fits into this one easily without the need for the constant back-story explanations that often wreck sequels. The book depends on good writing and a memorable setting and is short on blood, torture and a surplus of corpses - if that's what you're looking for, perhaps this is not for you. It's a book that despite moving slowly builds to a satisfying climax and has left me wanting more of Cal McGill ... soon ... very soon ... please.
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on 27 January 2014
This is the second in the sea detective series, and a fine read it is too. Mrs Anderson, housekeeper, attends the funeral of her mistress and fully expects the respect of the children and consideration in the will. Instead, she is snubbed and required to pay a substantial amount for the cottage she has been living in rent-free for years.

Violet Wells is a troubled young mother. She was abandoned as a baby and throughout her life she has struggled to understand how a mother could ever do such a thing. She has constantly thought about meeting her and finding out why. Mr Anwar arrives with an anonymous letter indicating that Violet’s mother is dead and more can be found about her by visiting Portdown on the west coast of Scotland. She cannot resist, but why was the letter sent?

On arrival, Violet is befriended by the sea detective, Cal – an oceanographer who studies currents, wind and tide to predict where objects in the sea traveled. A romance could blossom, but Violet is apparently not interested – she is totally absorbed by her daughter, being determined not to treat her in the same way that she was treated. With Cal’s help she concludes that her mother cannot have drowned as the story goes. Her things were ‘washed ashore’ at a place where it would be impossible. Perhaps she did a Lord Lucan in order to escape the shame of an illegitimate birth, but when Violet discovers that the father was the well-to-do pillar of the community, then something more sinister is suspected. There is another sinister element too. The Turnbull’s are the local thugs who deal in drugs and anything else. They seem determined to shut Violet up.

Eventually the mystery is solved, but even at the end doubt remains. The plot is gripping and the characters engaging, but the strength of the book is the style. It is subtle and nuanced. A fine example is the visit of Mr Anwar to Violet early in the book. His character is perfectly drawn in a touchingly sympathetic style. In fact, the whole book lacks the graphic violence of many detective stories, and there isn’t a postmortem in sight. Well done, Mr Douglas-Home – an author to watch.
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on 17 April 2013
Mark Douglas-Home successfully inhabits all the characters he creates, breathing life into them and individuality, even those who are already dead and buried. He spins a tale with well-crafted skill, knowing just where and when to place new information. He is a master of the slow reveal and, for that matter, of the open ending with its unspoken and unanswered question. Maybe, only maybe, it will be answered when the third Sea Detective mystery is published in the autumn of 2014: a date to ring on your calendar. Since the second in this series is even better than the first, I for one will get my order in early.
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VINE VOICEon 11 April 2013
Cal McGill, the Sea Detective, is back and the good news is that this series grows stronger. Everyone who enjoyed his first outing (as The Sea Detective in 2011) is going to love this one at least as much. Investigating a suicide of 26 years earlier, McGill uncovers dark secrets. The Woman Who Walked Into The Sea is peopled by great characters familiar and new. It is engrossing and tense and the author, Mark Douglas-Home, makes the most of his West Highland locations. Hopefully we will not have to wait another two years for the third adventure.The Sea Detective Dregs The Famous and the Dead
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on 19 September 2014
Took me a while to read this, largely because I was bored by it, the characters just didn't engage me. The story was very flat and I found I really didn't care one way or the other how things worked out. In fact I can't even remember the end of the book and I only finished it last night.
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on 4 May 2015
This was a slight disappointment after the previous book, although still excellent. Cal McGill didn't really feature a lot in this one and there wasn't much "sea detecting" going on as the plot concentrated on the "victim" rather than the detective. The one bit of sea detecting was pretty frustrating too. Cal didn't put any markings on the oranges he threw into the sea at different places, so how could he deduce which one he found on the shore and where it had gone in? The most frustrating thing was how many loose ends were left unresolved at the end. For example, did Cal & Violet "get it on"? What happened to Mr Anwar's job? Why & how did Mrs Anderson die? Did Violet take up her inheritance? Was Alexandra thrown out of the house? What happened to "Queen" sheep Mrs A? Oh, and the complete about turn of Mr Turnbull from chief villain throughout to Mr Goody Goody at the end just wasn't credible. Shame really. This could easily have been a 5* book, but just didn't quite make it.
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on 29 May 2013
Was looking forward to this book but found it rather disappointing.The Sea Detective very much took a back seat in the story and since he was the fascinating character in the first novel this was a let-down.I could see the plot very clearly early on and found it .lacking in suspense.
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on 9 May 2013
A rattling good thriller, cleverly constructed around the mysterious, desirable Megan who walked into the sea...or did she? A classic cliff-hanger (in more ways than three) which kept me guessing until the end. And a welcome return of sea detective Cal among a believable and recognisable cast who include a disgruntled old retainer, an unfaithful husband, a greedy trust fund family and corrupt police force - all this set in the beautiful landscape of the Scottish west coast, overshadowed by the all-too-familiar threat of a wind farm. A great read which will make a gripping TV drama.
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on 17 September 2014
After the writer's brilliant debut of The Sea Detective, I found this a bit of a let-down.

Cal McGill is an excellent hero, but was not really the central character in this novel. I found aspects of the story unsatisfying and unfulfilled.

But - if you have not read The Sea Detective, please do not let this review of this second book put you off.
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on 27 August 2013
The `sea detective' seems a curiously secondary character in this second novel in the series which bears his name. But I suppose this allows the author to bring a wider variety of protagonists to the fore.

In this proper novel of character and theme, justice is done (if not - quite - seen to be done): the good end happily(-ish), the bad unhappily.
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