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Picture Her Dead: A Rhona Macleod Novel    by Lin Anderson order for
Picture Her Dead
by Lin Anderson
Order:  USA  Can
Hodder & Stoughton, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, Softcover
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Picture Her Dead is the first of Lin Anderson's Rhona Macleod series that I have read. While I enjoyed this forensic mystery, I recommend that the series be read in order as there are many references to the back story in this eightth episode.

Rhona Macleod is a forensic scientist in Glasgow, Scotland. She's single, but long before gave up a child for adoption. That young man, Liam Hope, has since made contact with his birth mother and their uneasy connection improves somewhat in this latest episode. Rhona is currently in a relationship with investigative journalist Einar Petersson.

There are two main plot threads in Picture Her Dead. The first relates to the fate of a friend of Liam's, loner Jude Evans. An art project took her to investigate mostly derelict picture palaces all over the city. She found something horrific in one of them. Now she has disappeared. Liam asks Rhona for help, but he also investigates on his own.

The second subplot relates to DS Michael McNab, presumed dead by most who know him. He was gunned down at the Poker Club 'on the orders of a Russian oligarch' and has been in hiding ever since, waiting to testify at the upcoming trial of crime cartel head Nikolai Kalinin. Unfortunately, word of McNab's survival seems to have leaked.

After Rhona finds a corpse (walled up alive) in a cinema Jude was seen in, it becomes a police matter - as does a murder at the Poker Club. Rhona worries that McNab might have been the killer, or might have been taken by Kalinin, who enjoys torturing his victims.

Anderson develops her story slowly and steadily, with regular surprises along the way. There's betrayal, identity theft, and violent pornography with links to high places. If you're a fan of Anglophile and/or forensic mysteries, you really should give this series a try.

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