***** 5 STARS
Can you ever get over the death of your sister? Or of your best friend? More than 30 years after 13-year-old Shona McIver was raped and murdered in Portobello, the seaside suburb of Edinburgh, the crime still casts a shadow over the lives of her brother Tom and her best friend Sarah. When modern DNA evidence shows that the wrong man was convicted of the crime, the case is reopened. So who did kill Shona? Sarah and Tom are caught up in the search for Shona’s murderer, and suspicions fall on family and friends. The foundations of Sarah’s perfect family life begin to crumble as she realises that nothing is as it appears. Dark secrets from the past are uncovered, and there is another death, before the identity of the real killer is finally revealed…Set in Edinburgh, the Outer Hebrides and South Africa, Sewing the Shadows Together is a thoroughly modern murder mystery that keeps the reader guessing to the end. Filled with characters who could easily be friends, family or people we work with, it asks the question: Do we ever really know the people closest to us?
Sewing the shadows together by Alison Baillie is a fast paced and exciting debut novel, that is a welcome addition to the Tartan Noir pack. It reminds me of a classic who dun it that you would have expected from the like of Agatha Christie but with a modern twist. What makes this novel is the way in which the author has written about her characters, you can really tell that she really cares about them, there stories, there relationships and there felling jump out from the pages of the book and makes the reader really feel and care for them, it’s like they are real people that you know personally not just characters in a novel. What then follows is a well plotted psychological suspense story with a distinct air of family drama, from the start of the book the author manages to keep the Pace of the novel, so that the reader are taken on a roller coaster of a ride through out the novel up to the last pages.
This is accomplished as we follow the families through a thirty year journey, from the murder investigation and all that entails, but also about the tangled relationships that exist between the main characters. Any return to the past, and a life once led, is always fraught with the danger of reawakening uncomfortable memories, and this story is all about the memories of the past, and about how people are shaped by what has happened to them, whether it be good, or bad and I really enjoyed following their progress, as the cracks in their individual stories start to appear, I had great fun in trying to figure out who had hidden the most secrets and trying to figure out what really happened, which in turn kept me on the edge of my seat until the truth was finally revealed. I can’t wait to see what this talented authors does next, she is definitely one to watch.
Paperback: 376 pages
Publisher: Matador (7 Aug. 2015)