The Death Game
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A Deadly Game of Sacrifice and Death
Once more the pen of Chris Longmuir, author of the acclaimed Dundee Crime Series, draws us into the world of mystery and intrigue, this time in Dundee during the year 1919. And she has created a new sleuth unlike any other currently in print.
Kirsty Campbell, former suffragette and a policewoman in Britain’s newly formed women’s police service, returns to her home town of Dundee to become the city’s first policewoman. Her struggle for acceptance in the all male police force is not easy, and she fights for recognition. But Kirsty is not easily intimidated and, despite police attempts to curtail her activities, she defies her superior officer to pursue an investigation into a murder which is linked to missing orphan girls.
Kirsty is an unusual character with a fascinating history and background. She has demons of her own to fight, as well as becoming involved in a deadly game of sacrifice and death? But how will she cope when the sins of the past come back to haunt her?
This book was inspired by Mrs Jean Forsyth Thomson, Dundee’s first policewoman who worked in the city from 1919 to 1921. However, Kirsty Campbell is not modelled on Mrs Thomson and is a completely fictitious character.
Chris Longmuir is an award winning novelist. Her previous crime novels have won the Pitlochry Award, and the Dundee International Book Prize.
a terrific debut for an engaging new female sleuth
This new series of murder mysteries from Chris Longmuir is a welcome departure, and a terrific start to a terrific idea with this darkly thrilling novel set in 1919 Dundee. Yes, Longmuir's gone all historical, and she's created a new female sleuth unlike any I for one have encountered before, with a fascinating history and back story. I had no idea about the beginnings of policewomen in England and Scotland, or their links with the suffragettes whose relationship with the police pre-war was fraught to say the least! Kirsty Campbell is a woman ahead of her times, a policewoman newly assigned to Dundee, where she faces puzzlement and prejudice from her fellow officers and family as well as from those policed in the dark and drizzly tenements and cludgies of the city. Her troubled personal history though is perhaps not uncommon for women of the time, giving her further struggles to cope with as she also fights to discover what's happening to young orphan girls who seem to be vanishing, and nobody much seems to care. Kirsty is angry and defiant, refusing to be victimised, yet emotionally moved by the plight of victimised girls: both proud of her uniform and discipline, and ready to dodge the rules when someone needs help. She begins working with a CID officer, Inspector Brewster, and I hope their working relationship continues in other books as it's very promising despite a prickly start on both sides. Longmuir gives us a powerful sense of place too, every sound, sight and smell of Dundee in 1919 is evoked, a year when the terrible war is over and the still-reeling public are facing great change. Class and gender roles are at a turning point, but poverty creates vulnerability, danger lurks in the dark, and Kirsty Campbell is there to face it, jujitsu trained as she is. Longmuir has created a new protagonist and setting, as well as her customary sure handling of plot and murder, which will grip crime fans for many books to come.