The book opens with a young man trespassing during a dark night in the garden of a minister in the Scottish government. He triggers an alarm and in his rush to escape he gets injured. Nursing his wounds as he makes his getaway he kicks himself for being discovered.
This is a detective story with a difference. The police play only a supporting or perhaps better described as an unsupporting role to the real detective. He is Cal McGill an environmental campaigner and expert in the tides and currents of the sea around the British Isles. It does not sound like fertile territory for a gripping detective story but bring in the international sex trade and body parts washing up on the shores of Scotland it quick engaged me.
Cal is based in Edinburgh but his family roots are in an island off the north west coast of Scotland evacuated by its handful of families during the 1940s. Cal's grandfather was lost at sea at the age of 21 during WW2 while serving on the island's converted trawler working on anti-submarine activities. His body was never found. He is the inspiration for Cal's study of the currents and tides.
The book is well paced and constantly interesting. It has encouraged me to purchase a packet of seeds which you will understand when you read the book. I hope Mr Douglas-Home's second novel is worthy successor to this one.