Robbing The Dead is the wonderful debut novel of Tana Collins in her Inspector Jim Carruthers series, published 14th February 2017.
Those of you who have read my blog for any length of time will have heard a little about this book before, (read here) because I had the privilege of being the first editor to get my mitts on Tana’s manuscript. But now it has been picked up by Bloodhound Books and polished to become the best it can be.
In Robbing The Dead we find a dead Welsh Aircraftman, the car bombing of a Scottish university lecturer, and a old rival of Jim’s turns up. Not things that are obviously linked, but Tana connects them all nicely.
The main man to watch here is, of course, Inspector Jim Carruthers, now I have an odd relationship with this character. I can’t say I loved him at first read. In fact when I did an initial sample edit for Tana, I said “Carruthers is heading for a disciplinary on grounds of sexual discrimination in the workplace.” Thankfully, when Tana sent me the full script she had moderated her language and Jim was the normal, likable bloke he was always meant to be; a human with faults, though thankfully not many tawdry quirks, he’s given up smoking, drinks but isn’t an alcoholic nor is he in any danger of becoming one, he’s not a serial womaniser. He is a decent bloke doing a tough job. I think he needs a good woman in his life, but I think that’s where Tana and I disagree, and he’s her baby so her rules apply.
In a way Carruthers does have a good woman, because he has Andie at his side. DS Andrea Fletcher is a good young copper. She’s analytical and clear in work, a steady personal life, she respects her boss, understands Jim better than the man realises, and she does her best to curb the worst excesses of her colleagues. Especially Dougie Harris.
Dougie Harris is old school. Let’s just say that Gene Hunt would approve. So okay, he’s a Neanderthal. But he’s also solid and, maybe not entirely dependable in the world of political correctness, but he’s still the kind you want on your side.
These characters read like real people. People whose trials and triumphs you can share. They make a good team and a solid base for a series of books. Books all set to the beautiful backdrop of Fife.
In other words – this is a good book, but you should decide that out for yourself. Robbing The Dead