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Dead in the Water by Aline Templeton

Dead in the Water

by Aline Templeton

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This is the fifth book in the series and I have read them in order. Will be continuing with this series. Really like the complex, human characters, nothing superficial about them. Plot is complex and suspenseful although on the cosy mystery side. I confess I love mystery novels set in England. I suppose I can visualise the settings, having lived in the UK for a number of years. The only criticism I have of this book and the others I have read is that you have to focus carefully throughout the first 25% of the book to keep track of the number of characters involved. Once you get to know them, the reading gets easier. ( )
  MitchMcCrimmon | Apr 27, 2018 |
Aline Templeton's Marjory Fleming series is one of my very favorite character-driven crime fiction series, and Dead in the Water is yet another strong entry. This is a book about mistakes. Mistakes people may have made back in 1985-- including Marjory's own father. Mistakes involving the ever-perfectionist Sheila Milne. And Marjory's own mistakes made both on the job and in her private life.

Naturally once Fleming gets to work on the cold case, the local bad boys get busy so more work gets thrown on her desk. It's like kicking open an anthill. There's a stalker at the estate where there's a film shoot on location. An area thug who likes to use knives is busy. There are short-fused Polish laborers working for a couple with too much time and money on its hands. And when all of this comes to a head, Marjory's personal life goes into a tailspin. Yes, there are a lot of plates spinning in the air, but Templeton is an expert at keeping them all going, keeping them all interesting, and keeping them all from getting tangled up and confusing.

She's also an expert at creating three-dimensional characters that readers really grow to care about. For instance, one of the decisions Marjory makes practically had me frothing at the mouth in agitation, and in fact I was talking out loud. Yes. Talking out loud. To a fictional character. I wanted to get hold of her and shake some sense into her. When I get this involved with characters, I know they're good-- and I know the story is good as well.

And Marjory isn't the only character who could sit down at my kitchen table. There's her husband, her children, her mother, and Detective Sergeant Tam MacNee, he of the infuriating behavior and brilliant flashes of deduction. I can always count on Tam for a little comic relief when a situation becomes too deadly serious.

After yet another satisfying ending to a puzzling mystery, I have to ask myself why I read these books so slowly. They are so good, you'd think I'd swallow them all whole, one after another. Ah-- but that's the reason why I read them slowly. They are "go-to" books for me. I know I can depend on them for their consistent high quality-- and you can, too. Dead in the Water reads well as a standalone, but if you like this type of mystery, I'd suggest you begin at the beginning (Cold in the Earth). You are definitely going to like Big Marge. ( )
  cathyskye | Sep 17, 2015 |
I read this book as an electronic advance reading copy (e-ARC) provided by Edelweiss, and I have submitted my comments to the publisher via that web site.

This book is a solid police procedural mystery set in a rural community outside Glasgow. DI Marjory Fleming is a plausible, interesting lead investigator who is strong yet sometimes self doubting. The plot was a bit far fetched, but all was redeemed by the charming Scots vernacular that the colorful characters use. Recommended for public libraries. ( )
  librarianarpita | Apr 29, 2014 |
I hadn't meant to leave it so long to read another in the Marjory Fleming series, nor did I mean to hop a book or two. I have already read the first two in the series, COLD IN THE EARTH and THE DARKNESS AND THE DEEP, but before I began this blog. I have included my mini reviews below.

Set near Scotland's version of Land's End, it's most southern tip, the Mull of Galloway, the Marjory Fleming series are police procedurals usually firmly anchored in contemporary events. In this novel foreign workers are moving into the area, accepting lower wages, and causing resentment amongst local young men who feel that they are being robbed of their livelihood. A popular television series, itself a police procedural, is having an episode filmed in the neighbourhood as a tribute to an elderly star who is taking a cameo role, and Marjory's son Cam is off to France to play rugby.

Detective Inspector Marjory Fleming has broken through the glass ceiling but life at the top is precarious, with her bosses hounding her and waiting for her to make a slip, and other women such as the Acting Procurator Fiscal undermining her at every opportunity. Marjory is also finding that the job really requires her full time attention and she has a husband who is a farmer, and two children in their late teens.

As with the earlier two that I have read this is a very readable book. There are a couple of nice twists to the plot and the investigation of the cold case from twenty years earlier calls into question the balance in the allocation of resources to current cases versus cold. When it is just an assault under scrutiny it does seem that the cold case is very important, but when a murder occurs, the cold case need to be shelved, but for Marjory it just won't go away.

If you like British police procedurals and are looking for a credible female protagonist, you'll enjoy this series. (I mentally compare her to Anne Cleeves' Vera Stanhope and Helene Tursten's Irene Huss). Starting from the beginning would be a good idea if you have time. ( )
  smik | Feb 17, 2012 |
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Book description
The young victim was pregnant, her body washed up on the rocks. Twenty years on, the murder remains unsolved; her father is now dead, and her mother refuses to talk about what went on all those years ago.

Detective Marjory Fleming is called in to reopen the case that her late father, a policeman, was unable to put to rest. As Fleming digs deeper, it becomes clear that her father struggled to keep secret some of the shameful details surrounding the young girl's death.

Can she handle the truth she will unearth, not just about her father but about herself?
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A murdered girl haunts DI Marjory Fleming when she is asked to investigate a cold case, the shameful details of which her father struggled to keep secret. Restless ghosts are brought back to life too when the TV crew of a popular crime series arrives in Galloway bringing excitement and disruption to a small market town.… (more)

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