siren song
The siren song of an unsolved murder case beckons an ex-cop back into detective work--this time on his own, and with life-threatening consequences…
Michael McLaren tries to convince himself that he is perfectly happy repairing dry stonewalls in Derbyshire, a make-do career after resigning his job in an eddy of anger, disgust and an overwhelming sense of injustice. But when a murder victim’s friend asks him to investigate a cold case, McLaren agrees, the chance to rectify a wrong and return to the work he loves too heady to ignore.

Marta Hughes, the murder victim, never returned home from a local casino where she won a purse-choking sum of money. Her body turned up ten days later and turned up the heat on the police investigation, but the time-lapse, lack of witnesses, and an untraceable bullet quickly turned the case cold. Now, one year later, McLaren sifts through the web of lies and veiled motives as impenetrable as boulders. Co-workers, friends, neighbors and even Marta’s husband all seem to have reasons for wanting her death--reasons as varied as revenge for her damning silence to imagined infidelity.

Anger and motives overlap and raise more questions than McLaren can answer. In the midst of his investigation McLaren becomes entangled in his own mystery: anonymous late-night phone calls, a vanished hitchhiker, and a car crash threaten his life and sanity. Is Dena, his former fiancée, playing tricks on him, still angry over their broken engagement? Or does the killer fear McLaren’s relentless law-skirting pursuit? But it isn’t until McLaren unravels his personal puzzles that he discovers Marta’s killer, a killer obsessed with old anger and new revenge.
Read A Review:

In Siren Song Jo A. Hiestand takes us to the English countryside to meet Mike McLaren, retired detective inspector turned stone mason. While working on a stone wall he is approached by Linnet Isherwood and asked to solve a year old cold case murder.  Marta Hughes went missing on a return trip from a casino with a large amount of winnings and was found days later dumped on the side of the road, dead from a bullet.  A coworker of Marta's is under the cloud of suspicion, but there is no proof that she committed the murder and no guilty party to prove that she didn't. When Mike asks why Linnet has come to him she tells him it is because she's heard that he fought against injustice.
Thus begins a story full of intense twists and turns. Mike's past, and his reason for leaving the force come to light as he searches for the murderer of Marta Hughes. Mike is someone you would want squarely on your side and a character who is destined to create a large following as he ferrets out the truth no matter how difficult the path.
The book has earned a 7/10, or very good, rating. The setting is vividly described, the characters are well crafted and full of human qualities, both good and bad, and atmosphere is both comfortable and believable.

Mary Fairchild