Skeleton Blues by Paul Johnston

T I T L E: Skeleton Blues
S E R I E S: A Quint Dalrymple Mystery (Nº 7)
A U T H O R: Paul Johnston
P U B L I S H E R: Severn House Publishers
P U B L I S H--D A T E: April 1, 2016
I S B N: 9780727885784

Ex-cop Quint Dalrymple discovers there is something very rotten in the independent city-state of Edinburgh in this near-future dystopian thriller.
Edinburgh, spring 2034. The weather’s balmy, there’s a referendum on whether to join a reconstituted Scotland coming up – and a tourist is found strangled. As usual, maverick detective Quint Dalrymple is called in to do the Council of City Guardians’ dirty work.
For the first time in his career, Quint is stumped by the complexity of the case. An explosion at the City Zoo is followed by the discovery of another body – and the prime suspect is nowhere to be found. Can Quint and his sidekick, Guard commander Davie, put a stop to the killings before the city erupts into open violence? Are the leaders of other Scottish states planning to take over Edinburgh, or is the source of unrest much closer to home? Quint must race to pull the threads together before he becomes one of the numerous skeletons on display …

     I need to say wow, I love Quint Dalrymple and his cases. Set in a dystopian Edinburgh during the year 2034, it is not your average mystery series. In fact, this particular installment has a lot going on and you never know what will happen next. The plot thickened with each turn of the page and kept me guessing. I had no idea how things would play out or what was in store in the end. As a result, I was completely surprised but what happened and I love it when I am not able to predict the end.
     As I mentioned in the paragraph above, this story has a lot going on which can sometimes be hard for some authors to pull off and readers can get lost. But Paul Johnston does an excellent job and there is no getting confused in this story. Instead he keeps you on the edge of your seat, not knowing which characters are trustworthy and which are not. There were also a few scenes that brought a tear to my eye and I don’t want to give anything away, but you get to see another side of Quint that just makes you like him all that much more.
     The banter between Quint and Davie is always fun to read. I think I like Davie almost as much as Quint. You also get to see more of Sophia and Quint as well, and their relationship grows closer.
     I could go on and on about this book and the series in general, but I will just say you need to read this one. These novels would make an awesome TV series, or even movies. BBC are you listening?
     If you like mysteries with a different twist or novels set in a dystopian society then I recommend Skeleton Blues, even if you haven’t read any of the other Quint Dalrymple books. Needless to say this book has earned five stars from me.