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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars

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on 12 March 2017
This is a very good story set in Madge Fleming's patch of Galloway. It is another case of the sins of the past haunting the present. This is a recurring them in this series it seems. There is a special twist in this one though as the main character has a medical disorder. She has the reverse disability of dementia, she can recall in totality absolutely every episode of her life in complete detail who said what and when and what they were wearing when it happened. That's everything except for one moment of trauma which is a blank and that moment may hold the key to the events of today.

As with all of the books in this series there is focus on the joys and sorrows of the family lives of Madge and her officers. In this book Madge has both and there is even a case of dementia for one of her officers to contend with.

There is an unexpected and exciting end to the story as the pieces all come together or perhaps - fall apart.
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on 15 October 2013
This is the eighth novel featuring DI Marjory Fleming, based at the headquarters of Galloway Constabulary in the fictional town of Kirkluce. Kirkluce lies on the A75, roughly half way between Newton Stewart and the busy ferry terminals of Cairnryan and Stranraer, and not far from the real - but much smaller - village of Glenluce.

It's a strong point of the series that Marjory is an utterly convincing character. She followed her late father into the police force, but married Bill Fleming, a local farmer, and although there is a deep bond between them the conflicting pressures of domestic and professional life are often problematic. They have two children, Catriona (Cat) and Cameron (Cammie), both of whom are young adults at the time of the present novel.

Marnie Bruce suffers from hyperthymesia - a condition which enables her to remember everything she has ever seen. If a memory is triggered, she re-lives the past as if watching a film - except for one night, 31 October 1993, when she was 11 years old. She remembers coming home from celebrating Hallowe'en, but her mind is blank from that point until she was found by a neighbour the following morning, covered in blood from a severe head injury. And her mother had vanished completely. Now, following the breakdown of a relationship, she decides to return to Galloway in search of answers. A young PC Fleming was part of the initial response to the neighbour's call for assistance on that black day in 1993, and Marnie looks to her for help. But that raises difficult problems for Margery, because to provide any sort of explanation for the events of 1993 she would need to reveal information about a crime committed twenty years earlier, and that information is very definitely not for public consumption ....

To provide further details of the plot would be unfair to prospective readers, but it's perhaps worth mentioning that the cast of characters is quite substantial. All of them are introduced in the early chapters, but bearing in mind the 40-year period explored in the novel, readers who share my capacity for confusion may find it helpful to list the names and relationships as they appear, especially if they expect to spread their reading over several days. That's not in any sense a criticism of the plot; it hangs together very well, but it IS quite complex and every character has a necessary part to play.

The broad setting will be familiar to anyone who has spent time in Galloway. In the East, it begins at Clatteringshaws Loch, in the heart of the Galloway Forest Park, lying on `The Queen's Road' (the A712 between New Galloway and Newton Stewart) and stretches in the West to the shores of Loch Ryan, a few miles north of Stranraer. In between, there are miles of remote and beautiful countryside. If you don't know the area, it might be worth spending half-an-hour on Google. Galloway is definitely NOT Home Counties rural, and an understanding of the remote and sometimes desolate landscape will help you to appreciate the `feel' of the story.

Aline Templeton seems to me to be seriously underrated. This really is an excellent crime novel, combining a sensitive portrayal of the kind of people to whom Galloway is home with a sharp and original plot offering plenty of `page-turner' moments. Hyperthymesia was only identified as a specific condition in 2006, and so far as I'm aware it has never previously featured in a crime novel. There are other very contemporary themes in the tale, as the reader will discover. What's not to like? Well, a couple of other characters turn out to have obsessive tendencies, and whilst by no means outside the bounds of possibility I didn't feel wholly convinced about the consequences stemming from these tendencies - but that's a minor criticism when weighed against the many good things in this book. I thoroughly enjoyed `Bad Blood' and have no hesitation in recommending it to other crime buffs!
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on 11 November 2014
Aline Templeton does not disappoint with her Marjory Fleming series -- another fantastic read. I desperately wanted to reach the dénouement, and equally did not want the book to end.

The great strength of this series is that the main story is complemented by the absolute believability of the characters, and we care as much about Marjorie's domestic life (and that of her team) as we do about the crime plot.

This is a slightly unusual but absolutely fascinating mystery, and the ending is never a foregone conclusion.

Thanks, Aline Templeton, and I am already looking forward to the next one.
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on 25 March 2014
It is rare that i do not finish a book. I didn’t like this one. I’m not sure it was the fault of the book maybe it was just poor choice.
I can’t say why i didn’t enjoy it
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on 14 October 2014
Enjoyed this book in the Marjory Fleming series. Gripping plot well written and very realistic setting true to its origins. (I know this because I live in the area where it is set.)
I would recommend this book and the series to anyone who has an interest in the genre, and it would make a good holiday read to any visitors to this area of Scotland.
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on 25 February 2014
Really enjoyed this book, it is set in a part of Scotland I love and this writer cleverly links it to the action. Such an easy interesting read, the characters are very real flawed people. I actually knew them from previous novels and love having a strong intelligent family woman as the lead detective. Would be a great tv series.
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on 26 November 2013
Slightly different DI Fleming story in that its more about her team than herself but no less readable for this change of emphasis. Thought the ending a little contrived and rushed which is why i only gave it 4 stars. If coming new to the series read earlier novels first and get hooked on Fleming.
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on 19 February 2014
A good story where a daughter is blamed for the sins of her mother. The daughter is unaware of what the mother has done and cannot understand why people where she lived are so upset when she returns to her childhood home. A very quick paced story I just couldn't put it down.
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on 29 January 2017
If ever a book is evil this is it, horrifying, a side of life most of us fortunate never to see. Gripping until the last page, a book full of twists and turns, nasty characters and terrifying descriptions of violence. Not for the faint hearted
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on 23 February 2014
I enjoyed this book. I didn't know any of the previous DI Marjory Fleming but this did not affect my enjoyment of this novel. Would recommend it & I will try some of others in the series.
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