Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Review: Cold in the Earth by Aline Templeton

Cold in the Earth

Review by Shellie for Cold in the Earth: A DI Fleming Thriller (#1) by Aline Templeton.

Shellie’s quick take:   The first in a contemporary murder mystery series set in the Scottish countryside. It’s a dark atmospheric thriller that has a family-oriented and strong female lead, a psychopath, and a psychologist as the main characters.

Shellie’s description:   Detective Marjory Fleming lives with her husband and two children on a farm in the Scottish countryside - where the green hills are dotted with sheep, the weather is harsh, everyone knows each other, and the local population’s loyalties to each other run deep. She also works with a volatile yet handsome detective whose family has raised prize-winning bulls for generations and who has connections with bull running in Spain, which is a key theme for the book.

When a case of foot and mouth disease is diagnosed in a nearby farm, the connected villages are in an uproar since entire herds of animals may be destroyed, potentially devastating the locals  – both economically and emotionally. Things get even more complex  when a body is found in the field of a prize-winning and killer bull, and Marjory is faced with her first murder investigation.

Shellie’s thoughts:   Originally published in the UK in 2005 and just released in the US this year, I read the book in its unedited North American version. I found that there was a large number of colloquialisms peculiar to Scotland and the UK which may be edited out for American readers. Not knowing how much has been changed, it’s probably safe to say that this may cause a slight bit of a reading flow issue for those of us who are not familiar with the language of the Scottish. However, it’s interesting and entertaining and I think this adds to its appeal – giving the reader a mini-trip (albeit in wintertime) to the UK countryside.

The characters are well developed and I particularly appreciated the story including two interesting characters other than Marjory Fleming - one a psychologist and the other a psychopath. With these two characters the story leads the reader into some in-depth psychological examinations creating a more complex and entertaining plot. In the end the only negative thing I can say about the book is that the story line was ever-so-slightly predictable.

A great read if you enjoy mysteries set within another country (especially Scotland) and also for those who enjoy strong female main characters, antagonists who have no conscience, and in-depth psychological insight. I would rate it 3.5 stars and will definitely be looking forward to reading the other books in this series.

October 29, 2013 | 372 pages |e-book | Witness Impulse – HarperCollins

Witness Impulse is a new division of HarperCollins that will be publishing thrillers, mysteries, and crime fiction in ebook format.

About Witness (from the publisher):  Witness is the new Impulse imprint from HarperCollins Publishers devoted to thrillers, mysteries, and stories of suspense. Debuting in Fall 2013, Witness will serve as a launch pad for a range of exciting titles, including new publications, previously self-published bestsellers, newly digitized backlist classics, and international books previously unavailable in the US. For more on this and other Witness titles, please visit, or

For more information on Cold in the Earth here’s the publisher’s blurb for the book:

A quiet farming town where all they reap is death.

A corpse, a missing girl, and a mysterious family's dangerous obsession with bull running provide a sinister backdrop to Detective Inspector Marjory Fleming's first murder investigation. To find the killer, DI Fleming must unearth an evil presence that has long been in hiding, all the while praying that her very first case will not be her last.

This terrifying and atmospheric mystery will thrill lovers of Tana French and Carol O'Connell.

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