A Scottish police procedural, Avenge the Dead follows DI Frank Farrell and DS Mhairi McLeod as they are sent from Glasgow to Dumfries to investigate a shocking murder of a solicitor’s wife. Discovering the deceased had been cheating on her husband, they wonder if the case will be open and shut. When the body count starts mounting, though, Farrell and McLeod quickly realise this is no ordinary murder case… and they need to act quickly to find the killer before another innocent dies.
This is the third in the DI Frank Farrell series and the first one I’ve read, and there were obviously some significant events in previous books I’d missed which had ongoing consequences here; mainly for Frank’s mental health but also on other characters. And talking of characters, there’s a BIG cast to keep track of, too big for many of them to really get much character development. I didn’t figure out who the killer was until pretty late in the game, and that was mainly due to the suspect pool being absolutely vast.
The twist, and the killer’s motives, were actually quite interesting, and also plausible. Is justice done, in the end? Let’s just say I had a certain amount of sympathy for the killer… although his choice of victims meant I was glad the police solved the mystery.
There are a lot of things to like about this story, but the over-large cast made things a bit too confusing for me to really enjoy it. I’ll give it four stars.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.