My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I was drawn in by the setting of this mystery: The Shetland Islands. They fascinate me. Tora is a young Ob/Gyn doctor, just starting her residency work at a local hospital under Ken Gifford, a doctor she is sort of drawn to (which frankly annoyed me the entire book). Her husband, Duncan, moved them here to a large house. He was originally from the islands but Tora is English and an accomplished horsewoman. It’s that detail that opens the mystery. She’s illegally trying to bury her deceased, beloved horse and finds the body of a woman in the peat. She’s had her heart cut out and runes carved into her back.
Tora isn’t impressed with the police investigation, even more so when she’s brought into the autopsy and learns the woman had just given birth before she was killed. She does warm a little to the police woman, also a Shetland outsider, Dana. However when everyone tells her to leave it be, Tora can’t. She starts looking through hospital records, does some very idiotic things professionally (and for a while I was sympathizing with her since I’ve been there done that but after a while she loses a lot of my sympathy and I didn’t particularly like Tora). Soon, she is on to something and Dana agrees.
However, none of this goes unnoticed, especially the ham handed way Tora did it. Soon there is a potential attempt on her life and worse, she thinks her husband might be behind it. It doesn’t help that all of Shetland seems to be one small town in the way everyone knows everyone and they don’t trust outsiders. As it starts to look like it has to do with pregnant woman, something Tora desperately wants to be, the danger ramps up. Stranger still, it somehow ties into ancient myth. The only problem is Tora may not live to tell anyone what she has found.
It’s a decent mystery with an interesting setting. Tora, unfortunately blows hot and cold for me and since she’s the pov character that’s a bit of a problem. It also seems like a standalone sort which is rare in mysteries today.
View all my reviews