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Deadly Code

by Lin Anderson

Series: Rhona MacLeod (3)

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607430,083 (3.33)18
A horrifying discovery is made off the coast of Scotland's Isle of Skye in Deadly Code, the third novel in Lin Anderson's forensic crime series featuring Rhona MacLeod.Following a grisly discovery made on Scotland's Isle of Skye, forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod is sent over to investigate. It's there she finds a decomposing foot, caught in a net by a local fisherman, and there are key questions which remain unanswered: Where is the rest of the body? Who was the dead man? And why does the Ministry of Defence want the discovery to be kept out of the media?Returning to her island roots, Rhona soon becomes embroiled in a conspiracy that stretches far beyond the beautiful and remote Western Isles. For there are deadly international forces at play, controlled by powerful people who are willing to do anything to protect their interests and will silence anyone who threatens to expose them . . . Deadly Code is the third book in the Rhona MacLeod series by Lin Anderson.… (more)
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» See also 18 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
This book is the third in a series featuring Forensic Scientist Dr. Rhona MacLeod. It begins with the discovery of a body part - a leg - off the Isle of Skye. There had been accidents before with fishing boats because of the Ministry of Defense (MOD) practicing submarine maneuvers in the area, creating hostility toward the MOD. But in this instance, the MOD was more involved in the case than was usual, insisting that DI Wilson and his team not investigate, but send the body part over to them instead. Just before they took away the leg, Rhona discovered a tattoo on the ankle, but didn’t reveal that information to MOD.

In any event, Rhona was off to Los Angeles for a conference on genetics to present a paper about how DNA studies could aid crime investigators.

At the airport in Scotland, she meets the very attentive Dr. Andre Frith from the University of California, heading back for the same conference.

Meanwhile, back in Glasgow, Rhona’s boyfriend Sean is introducing a new singer at his jazz club, Esther Dickson. Rhona, knowing how Sean responds to music in a visceral, sexy way, is jealous, blind as usual to the nuances when it is a matter of any other woman around Sean. (She seems oblivious to the hypocrisy of her numerous own flirtations.)

Esther is in mental trouble, hearing voices in her head and terrified over it. Her 16-year-old friend Spike helps take care of her, but Spike is on the run from his own troubles, about which we learn in alternate chapters.

In LA, Frith takes Rhona to a Highland festival. There are an estimated twenty million people of Scots descent in the States, Frith explains to her. And they seem to be more avidly Scottish than the Scots themselves. Rhona also discovers a distasteful white supremacist movement popular among them called “ReAlba” or “Men of the West,” calling for a genetic war against non-whites. They were supporting the development of “G-bombs,” biological weapons based in genetics that would target certain races with lethal viruses. She learns from Frith that there was a Dr. Fitzgerald MacAulay doing secret genetic research to this end somewhere in Scotland, and he is now missing. Rhona has an idea about him based on the tattoo she discovered.

Rhona returns and says she is taking a short vacation on Skye, but of course really she is going to do some investigating on her on, in spite of MOD’s directives against it. All of the plot threads come together and rather shocking connections become clear as Rhona and others get into grave danger.

Evaluation: This is a good series with complicated characters. Rhona is maddeningly suspicious in some ways, and recklessly trusting in others. This combination never fails to get her in trouble. The plot in this one seems a little bit more far-fetched than it could have been, but I suppose conspiracy theorists will find it right on point. ( )
  nbmars | Jul 7, 2021 |
There's a lot to relish in this novel. The island landscape and weather play powerful roles - the setting reminded me (to my surprise) of John Buchan's 'Mr Standfast', which I'd read recently. The reader does not know what is going on until the very end. The role of the heroine is perhaps more of a problem, her essential involvement is as forensic expert, but precious little of the plot is driven by her findings. I do not understand why the baby was incorporated into the story; some sort of forensic reasoning applied to the wean might have fueled the plot. There are rather too many coincidences in the plot (as also in 'Mr Standfast'), and the post mistress on Raasay is such a paragon to be implausible. Returning to location, for a book published in 2005, a surprising amount of area around Glasgow University Anderson describes with such love has since been raised to the ground. ( )
  Roarer | Feb 11, 2020 |
I don't know if I can choose a favourite in this series. I did really like this one but I see I gave Driftnet 9 stars and I'm only giving this one 8 stars. That being said, I suspect that I may be becoming more demanding as I become familiar with the series and I think Driftnet and Deadly Code are quite close. The extensive action outside of the main cities of Scotland was very appealing to me. Lin Anderson's statement on the Acknowledgements page "Raasay is a magical island, perhaps my favourite of all the Scottish islands. I hope after reading Deadly Code you too want to learn more of its unique story, wander in its woods, climb Dun Caan and walk Calum's road." certainly came true for me. I have developed a real yen to visit Scotland, especially the islands.

So I hope there are more in this series to come. ( )
  gypsysmom | Aug 9, 2017 |
As body parts wash up on the shores of Raasay Sound, forensic scientist, Dr. Rhona MacLeod, must face several personal and work-related crises.
The ‘sense of place’ in this third Rhona MacLeod mystery, DEADLY CODE by Lin Anderson, is extraordinary. One can feel the tranquility and peace and beautiful land and seascapes of western Scotland. I particularly like the connection between the Gaelic College of western Scotland and the Gaelic College located in Cape Breton (Nova Scotia). The gaelic language, history and traditions are all alive and well in both these areas.
Another young character, Spike, is introduced in the story - a very pivotal character.
A true ‘noir’ - a genre of crime film or fiction characterized by cynicism, fatalism and moral ambiguity. ( )
  diana.hauser | Feb 8, 2017 |
Deadly Code by Lin Anderson is the 3rd book about Scottish forensic scientist, Rhona MacLeod. The plot revolves around genetic coding and cloning which I found very interesting. Unfortunately, I found the story relied a little too much on coincidences that were too farfetched to be easily accepted. So overall, I had mixed feelings about the book.

I find the main character, Rhona, rather a difficult one to warm up to, but I also find her coldness believable seeing as she is a scientist and reacts with her brain rather than her heart. She did seem to open up a little during the course of this story and learning more of her past helped with that as well. The story mostly takes place on the island of Skye and I enjoyed the descriptions of the island, the weather and the ocean.

These quick read mysteries are good to carry around to read while waiting for appointments or simply just to while away an afternoon, and since I have more of them on my shelves, I will be continuing on with the series. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Nov 28, 2015 |
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A horrifying discovery is made off the coast of Scotland's Isle of Skye in Deadly Code, the third novel in Lin Anderson's forensic crime series featuring Rhona MacLeod.Following a grisly discovery made on Scotland's Isle of Skye, forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod is sent over to investigate. It's there she finds a decomposing foot, caught in a net by a local fisherman, and there are key questions which remain unanswered: Where is the rest of the body? Who was the dead man? And why does the Ministry of Defence want the discovery to be kept out of the media?Returning to her island roots, Rhona soon becomes embroiled in a conspiracy that stretches far beyond the beautiful and remote Western Isles. For there are deadly international forces at play, controlled by powerful people who are willing to do anything to protect their interests and will silence anyone who threatens to expose them . . . Deadly Code is the third book in the Rhona MacLeod series by Lin Anderson.

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