Thursday, January 16, 2020

"Flotsam & Jetsam" by Keith Moray

When you live by the seashore or on an island, a lot of things tend to wash up on the shore: driftwood, the debris from shipwrecks, the proverbial bottles with their messages, perhaps a dead body, a collie tied with ropes to wooden planks. 

Wait, what? A collie?

Inspector Torquil McKinnon of the West Uist police in the Orkney Islands finds the dog, barely alive. Dogs seem to be disappearing, but no one has come across this kind of barbaric behavior. There’s also a rash of burglaries happening, a television program is broadcasting from the island for a week, and some shifty-looking businessmen are hosting a Scottish football star. All kinds of things are washing up on McKinnon’s island.

And then there’s a murder, or two.

Keith Moray
The appropriately named Flotsam & Jetsam is the fourth mystery in the Torquil McKinnon series by British writer Keith Moray. Like its title implies, it meanders in a number of directions, until the bodies begin to turn up. Then it turns into a tightly written police procedural – with always a bit of Scottish humor thrown in (usually courtesy of Torquil’s priestly uncle).

Moray has published six Inspector MacKinnon novels. He’s also published three historical novels, The Pardoner’s CrimeThe Fool’s Folly, and The Curse of the Body Snatchers; non-fiction books (under the pen name Keith Souter); and several westerns as Clay Moore. When he’s not writing, he practices medicine as a part-time doctor and medical journalist (he studied medicine at the University of Dundee). He lives in Yorkshire in England.

Flotsam & Jetsam is another solid entry in the series, with well-drawn characters, considerable games afoot, and long-buried secrets finally seeing the light of day.


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