Cover Image: In Dark Water

In Dark Water

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Member Reviews

New Scottish crime series set in Dumfries.
DI Shona Oliver has recently moved to the area with her family. She is also a volunteer for RNLI which adds additional depth to the storyline. Her family situation also adds more interest to the story.
On an RNLI mission they discover a body but case his handed to Cumbrian police. Shona works closely with DC Daniel Radley from Cumbrian police to uncover what has happened though both are warned off by their bosses to drop the case but with more murders their investigations continue. 
Thanks to Netgalley for allowing me to read this book in return for a fair review.
Good start to a new series.
4 Stars ⭐️
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“In Dark Water” marks the beginning of what I believe to be a promising new Scottish noir police procedural series.

The setting, characters, and plot were all well developed and the story immersive. It touched on some serious themes such as people smuggling, the drug trade, and police corruption.

I relished the fine balance given to the book’s coverage of Shona Oliver’s home life and work life, and as a reader, I was equally invested in both.

This first book in a proposed series introduced several interesting characters who worked under DI Shona Oliver and I can see some great potential to further expand on these characters in future books.

The plot was cleverly executed and the ending tied up the several plot lines in a neatly wrapped package.

This is a series that I intend to follow for as long as it runs. Highly recommended!
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A debut novel from this author
Another police procedural to get your teeth into 
Great characters
Set in Dumfries in Scotland 
Can’t wait for the next in this series
Thanks NetGalley
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Yes! New author and a new series!!! In Dark Water by Lynne McEwan is the first installment in the new Detective Shona Oliver series and it was a great read especially as its full of twists and turns throughout enough twists that will keep you hooked till the end. Set in part of beautiful Scotland Detective Shona Oliver agreed to move to Dumfries with her ex-banker husband when their teenage daughter got in with a bad crowd in London. As a Glasgow native, she’s back on home turf. Then, Detective Shona  Oliver continue as an RNLI volunteer, and
finds a body on the shores of Solway Firth it's evident this was no ordinary drowning and is foul play.  This is when the book begins and it did not disappoint. The characters were well-crafted and the ending was brilliant. 

I highly recommend this book and looking forward to Lynne's next book.

Big thank you NetGalley, Jane Isaac and Canelo Crime for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an review; all opinions are my own
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This novel was a pleasant surprise and had the pace of many noir TV series that have been on the BBC recently.  The writing kept a very smooth flow while keeping the reader anticipating what would happen next!  The main protagonist, Shona, is tough as nails and never lets anything get to her or so it seems.   There are many fascinating characters which would be great to see again in a continuation of the series.
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DI Shona Oliver knew it is not going to be easy to deal with the changes in her life. To protect her daughter Shone moves with her family from London to a small city in Scotland. When a body of a young woman is found Shona wants to solve the case, but is not going to be easy.
Thank you Netgalley for this book.
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DI Shona Oliver had worked in London for many years but when her daughter Becca, got in with a bad crowd & her husband was made redundant they moved to Dumfries where the pace of life is slower & where Rob could run their B & B. As she had been a volunteer with the Thames Lifeboat she continued to volunteer here. On a 'shout' a body is found on a sandbank midway between England & Scotland it eventually falls to their division of Police Scotland with liaison with Dan of Cumbria police. Her boss is not very interested. He  has his eye on the cases that bring in most kudos & with clean up rates. However, Shona cannot rest till she finds out her identity & how she got there. Before long it seems that the girl's death may have links to other things going on & Shona may have stirred up a hornet's nest.

Starting a new series of police procedurals is not without its hazards. There are so many excellent series on the market already, but Lynne McEwan has introduced a likeable new cop in an area which is a new setting- the cross border element is an interesting element. This was a fast paced & an enjoyable read & I'm already looking forward to meeting 'Wee Shona' again!
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A good and realistic detective story set on th Scottish/Cumbrian borders. The detective inspector is a woman with a  past. Shona has worked hard to overcome her difficult childhood and has recently moved up to this area from London due to problems whih are gradually revealed. She also volunteers for the lifeboat in her village.
The crime(s) are put together well, at first seemingly unrelated incidents and deaths and a couple of twists, one was unexpected, another not so much. Shona's personal life is also revealed bit by bit . My one grouse about this book is that the characters of her husband and daughter could have been portrayed in more depth. There is more detail as the book progresses, but the description of the relationships felt  little two-dimensional at times. 
I also took a little while to get to know the team members
I do hope that there will be more of this series, as we get to know the team and those around them better,my criticism will become irrelevant 
Thank you to Net Galley, Canelo and the author for a great read in exchange for an honest review
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Lynne McEwan begins a promising new Scottish crime series set in Dumfries that features DI Shona Oliver, who has recently moved from the City of London police, with her ex-banker, made redundant husband, Rob, who is now running a B & B business in their new home, and her 15 year old daughter, Becca, who got in with a bad crowd in London. What differentiates this from other crime fiction is that Shona volunteers for the RNLI on search and rescue missions under Tommy McCall on The Margaret Wilson. It is this role that has her discover the dead body of a young woman, a case that is allocated across the border to DC Daniel Radley of Cumbria Police.

Shona's boss, the ambitious DCI Gavin Baird, based at Divisional HQ in Kilmarnock, tells her to drop the case as there is no evidence of murder, and Radley is given the same orders by his boss. Baird is running Operation Fortress focusing on the drugs trade, and it is sucking resources and opportunities for Shona and her team, as they are expected to concentrate on the widespread thefts of baby milk in their region. However, Shona feels a debt to the dead that will not allow her to stop investigating what begins to look like murder in the case of the young woman, and she is aided by a Radley desperate to broaden his policing experience, with both willing to do whatever it takes to get to the truth. As more murders occur with a similar MO occur, Shona underestimates the powerful forces arraigned against her, intent on ensuring no investigations ever take place, and the consequent dangers begin to threaten her career and her family.

McEwan creates a great central protagonist in Shona, a Glaswegian woman with secrets, her marriage under threat with Rob's issues, and Becca, awkward, prickly and defiant, finding it hard to settle down in her new school. She is a no nonsense, hard and efficient boss, with a great team under her with DS Murdo O'Halloran, DC Ravi Sarwar, although DC Kate Irving feels more disgruntled, in her view her talents are not being recognised. This is a wonderfully engaging and twisted piece of crime fiction, with a terrific sense of location on the Solway Firth, and so good that I am really looking forward to the next in the series! Many thanks to the publisher for an ARC.
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In Dark Water by Lynne McEwan
Detective Shona Oliver #1

One of my personal pleasures is reading a debut author’s first book and being able to say I thoroughly enjoyed it…and this book was one that I honestly found held my attention from beginning to end. I can see that this author has a brilliant future and will only improve as she continues to hone her craft. 

What I liked: 
* The setting: Dumfries, Scotland
* Shona: DI with considerable experience, excellent team leader, professional, compassionate, volunteers as lifeboat rescuer, prioritizes, excellent at her job, wife, mother, dedicated to what she believes in.
* Meeting the team Shona works with – Can see potential for them in the future
* Rob: Shona’s husband has had some trouble in the past and could end up in trouble in the future. I look forward to seeing how his character will develop in the future.
* Becca: Shona’s teenage daughter, had some trouble in London, trying to find her way in her new setting, eager to find out how her life will unfold.
* RNLI: learning that the letters stand for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and that they put their lives on the line saving others. 
* The police procedural aspect of the book
* The writing and plot
* That all of the threads of the story were tied up by the end of the book. 
* The few surprises I wasn’t expecting – though much was predictable, too.
* That good eventually overcame evil

What I didn’t like: 
* What and who I was meant to dislike ~ it was easy to hate those that were up to no good.
* The ease with which the bad guys did what they did and knowing that it is happening more often than we might think. 

Did I enjoy this book? Yes
Would I read more in this series? Yes
What do I hope for in book two? More information about Shona, her family, and backstory

Thank you to NetGalley and CaneloCrime for the ARC – This is my honest review. 

4-5 Stars
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In Dark Water is the first instalment in a brand spanking new Dumfries-based police procedural series featuring DI Shona Oliver. When DI Oliver isn't busy solving crime and keeping the streets safe, she can be found working as a volunteer for the RNLI. It's on one of those shifts she and her crew recover a woman’s body from the Solway Firth – a body of water with a shore in Scotland and another in England. The police in Cumbria take the case, but when evidence suggests the unidentified female had ties to Shona’s patch just over the Scottish border in Dumfries she’s pulled into the investigation. Her glad-handing boss wants her to drop it, but Shona learns of a network of criminal activity that links to wrongdoing and cover-ups right to the top. As she attempts to find justice, her career and family life hang in the balance as she risks everything to reveal the truth. 

This is a compelling and captivating start to the series in what seems to be a set of books that could go the distance. A detective who volunteers for the RNLI is a stroke of genius on the author’s part, as the icy waters Shona knows so well bring her an abundance of drama on top of her day job. Add to that the atmospheric Dumfries setting, and cross-border complexities of a location so close to England, and there are many opportunities to establish a riveting, unique crime series. I found Lynne McEwan's crime writing packed with atmosphere, empathy and tension, and the world of her heroine, Shona Oliver, who is tenacious and intelligent, is one I can't wait to see expand in the upcoming instalments. A haunting and absorbing novel set against the backdrop of a notoriously stunning but dangerous seascape. Highly recommended.
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The first in a new series of Scottish police procedurals by new (I believe) author Lynne McEwan, this title certainly shows promise. DI Shona Oliver has recently moved to Scotland where she spends much of her free time as an RNLI volunteer. The plot is tightly constructed and hangs together well, better than some more established authors, and whilst the writing isn't going to win any big awards, McEwan certainly knows how to write and to entertain.

However, on a purely personal level, I failed to really engage with the book. I'm not sure what the problem was, but for me there is just a certain spark missing which could push this author to the next level...there is definitely potential for her to be up there with the big hitters. I'm pleased I gave the book a go, and will probably read more by this author if I have the chance to do so - I believe that the series will grow in strength as the author's writing matures. Three stars is perhaps a little harsh, but that's still 60% - I just don't think it quite merits the fourth star yet, although I am sure the next in the series will. 

A good find and worth reading.
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DI Shona Oliver’s personal life and career collide in In Dark Water, the first in an excellent and creative new Scottish police procedural series by the talented Lynne McEwan.

Shona Oliver is DI in Dumfries, having relocated with her family for a simpler life than that in London. Her husband Rob lost his job in finance and their daughter Becca had problems in school. So with Becca in a new environment and Rob managing their new B & B, life should be less complicated. It’s not.

Shona volunteers with the local lifeboat station and when an emergency call leads to the body of a murdered young woman, the nearby Cumbrian (England) police force is also involved. Shona’s team is eager to investigate this murder because the other case they are working on is the mysterious and unexciting theft of baby formula. How are those thefts connected to a drug ring in the area? And why is Shona told to end her investigation? What did Shona and Rob do in London that has caused problems for them in Dumfries?

In Dark Water shines with a complicated, satisfying plot line, well developed characters, especially Shona, Dan, Kate and Ravi. Shona and Rob’s relationship is troubled and I look forward to seeing how this develops in the next in the series. I especially enjoyed learning about the lifeboat station volunteers. This series has the potential to be one of the best! 5 stars.

Thank yo to NetGalley, Canelo Crime and Lynne McEwan for this ARC.
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This was a fun little read, though the ending may have been a bit too tidy. It's an interesting approach to have the main character be both a police officer (a DI) and a volunteer in the local lifeboat crew.  Looking forward to more from Lynne McEwan and DI Shona Oliver.

Thanks to the publishers (Canelo) for access to an ARC via NetGalley.
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A gripping and entertaining story that kept me hooked and guessing till the end.
Good character and plot development, a solid mystery full of twists and turns.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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I would like to thank Netgalley and Canelo for an advance copy of In Dark Water, the first novel to feature DI Shona Oliver of the Dumfries Police.

Shona, originally from Glasgow, has returned to Scotland from London where she worked for the City of London Police. Her 15 year old daughter had fallen in with a bad crowd and her husband Rob, a banker, had been made redundant so it was time for a change. When volunteering with the RNLI her crew find the body of a young woman. The Cumbrian force take charge of her death investigation, but with links to her area Shona is keen to stay involved. She soon finds herself embroiled in a wider investigation.

I thoroughly enjoyed In Dark Water, which is an engrossing read that expands from one death into a much larger and more wide ranging investigation with long reach. I was impressed with how the author brings it all the disparate elements together into a cohesive whole with ease and a touch of humour. It makes for an interesting and absorbing read.

The plot is interesting from the beginning with a young girl in trouble. My mind started whirring immediately and didn’t let up until all the facts were in. None of it is particularly surprising as the perpetrators are fairly obvious from the start, but the why, how and their actions are full of twists and turns, continually giving the reader more to think about and a large dollop of uncertainty about the outcome. 

I like Shona Oliver as she’s not to be messed with as we say up here. She’s tough (the Ringo story made me laugh), dedicated and smart. Her team call her wee Shona behind her back, although woe betide them if she finds out. She probably does know but none of them are prepared to find out and that’s her superpower- high standards and support. She asks a lot and gives a lot and they love her for it.

For readers who like a sense of place the novel has some lovely descriptions of the Solway Firth and its surroundings.

In Dark Water is a good read and I’m already looking forward to the sequel, so I have no hesitation in recommending it.
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A new police procedural featuring DI Shona Oliver who has recently moved from London to Scotland.  As her team struggle to solve existing crimes. bodies start turning up and Shona tries to investigate these murders.  
There was plenty of substance in the story and some good twists however, I felt the ending was a bit too neat.  Throughout the story, the drama built up and the pace speeded up considerably towards the end.  
Shona is extremely professional and thorough at work, but her home life is far more chaotic.  I liked the contrast this gave to the story, although I found the character of her husband Rob rather lacked depth.  The characters of her team members were nicely developed as the story progressed and I would say that there is plenty of scope to develop them further in later books in this series.  
Some of the outcomes of the story were fairly predictable.  The basic formula for the book was no different to many of the police procedurals already out there.  The RNLI angle was the only true novelty.  
Having said that, I did enjoy reading this book.  I look forward to reading the second in the series and seeing how the characters develop.  I would give this 7/10, rounded down to 3 stars.
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This is a very exciting start to a new crime series set in Scotland. The plot is very well written with lots of twists and turns. The characters are likeable, interesting and with plenty of scope for development in future books. I loved the unexpected ending and I would highly recommend reading this first book in a new police procedural, which I am sure will be a hit with fans of the genre. Thanks to Net Galley for my ARC.
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The first book is fantastic! There are enough twists and turns to keep you guessing.

Shona Oliver, her husband Rob, and their teenage daughter Becca moved from London to Dumfries. Scotland, each with its very own set of problems, some of which are hidden. 

Shona is a DI (Detective Inspector) by day and an RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) volunteer by night. One day, she and her RNLI team got a call to recover a young woman's body right on the Scotland/English border. As DI Shona knows, that is not the usual case of drowning and there is something more. Shona and her team work with Dan to try to uncover the murderers when more bodies are discovered, which could be linked to a drug network and baby milk thefts. Shona must strive to ‘fly under the radar' to solve the crimes when she is at odds with her boss.

The plot was so real that I felt as if I were in Scotland right then. The characters were well-developed, and the ending was unexpected.

I'm excited to see how the other characters evolve in the following books.

Thanks, NetGalley, for the opportunity to read and review this book. Thank you to Lynne McEwan for this amazing book.
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I want to thank NetGalley, the author, Lynne McEwan, and the publisher, Canelo Crime, for allowing me to read and review this book, In Dark Water.

DI Shona Oliver, her husband, Rob, and their daughter, Rebecca, have moved from London to Dumfriesshire, Scotland in order to start over. In addition to her police job, she volunteers for the lifeboat crew on her time off. On one mission they find the body of a young woman, which they take to a nearby town in England who will be assigned the investigation. There, Shonna meets DC Dan Ridley, who promises to keep her informed. This starts a partnership between police forces that do not always get along (the old Scottish/English controversy). When additional bodies are found, which might be linked to a drug ring and baby milk thefts, Shona and her team work with Dan to try and find the murderers. When she finds herself at odds with her supervisor, Shona must try and ‘fly under the radar’ to solve the crimes. 

I enjoyed this police procedural, as the plot was well thought out and made Shona a good policewoman, even while struggling with some major issues in her personal life.
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