1 May 2022

Review: THE PIRATE CLUB, G. R. Jordan

  • This edition an e-book on Kindle (Amazon)
  • Highlands & Islands Detective Book 6
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08BS369DY
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Carpetless Publishing (September 22, 2020)
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 242 pages 

Synopsis  (Amazon)

A body holding a spade in the sand amidst tales of a missing gem. An old boy’s network whose members are rapidly becoming extinct. Can Macleod solve the gamester’s clues before the club players are liquidated and the prize is gone forever?

In the sixth major case of Macleod and McGrath’s partnership, a deadly game is being played in the search for a long-stolen jewel of fantastic wealth. Whilst former friends dispatch their new enemies, DI Macleod hunts the pieces of parchment that will lead him to the resting place of a Sultan’s pride and joy, and the killers who cannot live without it. Will the pirate king emerge triumphant, or can the Inspector run their plans asunder?

When precious things seem out of reach, death may be the only compromise.

My Take

Bodies turn up on two separate islands, one male, one female: one killed where he lies and the other perhaps has floated in off a ferry. But Mcleod is convinced that they are somehow connected.  A scrap of a map with locations marked. A man digging up a gold cross on a beach, the item identified as something taken from a Spanish museum, 25 years earlier.

And now a trail of bodies, more murders, more throats slashed, and some young murderers, not above killing police pursuers if they get in the way.

I nearly drowned in the complexity of this plot and I'm still not sure that I got it all worked out. The "treasure hunt" turns into a fast paced thriller, challenging all the resources that Macleod and McGrath can muster. Macleod is forced to re-define and expand his team, firstly as his usual pathologist is incapacitated by ill health and needs to be replaced, and then he needs to add new investigators to his team, resulting in a redefinition of McGrath's role, with her being promoted to DS. McGrath becomes angry as choice bits of the investigation appear to be being handed over to the DC Stewart, and Macleod struggles to maintain control.

I've been thinking about why I am enjoying this series so much. I think it has something to do with the episodic nature of it. The investigative team of Macleod and McGrath is being expanded and redefined as both characters are developed from episode to episode.  I think Macleod is creating a crack investigative team which can be thrown into whatever mystery the Highlands and Islands can throw up. Macleod's superior officer is playing a very small role in this scenario. I'd almost compare this structure to something like a television series where in each episode we tackle a new mystery. Each of the episodes is sited on a different island and comes with its own locational challenges.

Running behind all this though are some personal scenarios for the main characters. Macleod has certainly developed since Book 1. He has now got a female live-in partner who needs to be very accommodating to the demands of his job. They have moved out of Glasgow back to the Isle of Lewis. MacGrath has changed too. She is still looking for a live-in partner, but she too intends to move out of Glasgow. She has risen from DC to DS and has become very attached to working with Macleod at the same time as getting very angry with him at times.

The episodes of the series do not move directly from one to another. In some cases a short period of time has elapsed and we are told of significant developments in the following pages.

I am looking forward to seeing how the series develops next.

My rating : 4.4 

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