Reviewed by: Mojomums reviewer Lynn
What they say: Hestan Island, marooned in the Solway Firth, tethered to the mainland at low tide by a causeway called The Rack; Hestan home to two men quietly living out their lives, until a boy is almost crushed to death in their tiny copper mine, when their shared past begins to unravel. Over at Balcary House, Brogar Finn and Sholto McKay arrive, and soon become involved in the affairs on Hestan, which in turn leads them back through the bloody wars of Crimea and the lands of the Tartars.
The third in the Scottish Mysteries, Hidden Pasts is host to a complex plot that explores the history of a little known part of Scotland, and explores how small, seemingly insignificant, events can echo down the years, with deadly consequence.
What we say: “I have just finished reading Hidden Pasts by Clio Gray and found it to be an engaging and suspenseful read.
The book is apparently the third book in the Scottish Mystery series by the author and I must admit I had not read the first two books. This could be why I found the book difficult to get into at first, with the first two chapters failing to grab my attention. However, I would recommend persevering through the first part of the book because, as the mystery and interwoven stories begin to emerge, I was hooked and eager to learn what interlinked all the characters.
The book itself is set in 19th century Scotland, primarily based around a remote island and its community. But it also reaches back to the Crimea war and informed me of an era of history that was little known to me before.
There are a number of characters to follow and, truth be told, a little more character development may have assisted me in buying into these people quicker than I did. However, as the details of their shared history is exposed, and the ramifications of their actions became known, I found myself drawn into their world.
This was probably a different genre from the books I normally read. Whilst I enjoy crime and mystery thrillers, the historical element was new to me. However it added an extra element that I found enjoyable. The story itself was well told and, by jumping between characters and their views on what was happening, it left me guessing a long way into the book.
I would recommend this book to others and I would also look out for other books by Clio Gray in the future.”
Hidden Pasts is available from many good high street bookstores and online from Amazon.