"Where Demons Hide" by Douglas Skelton is the fourth in the author's series of thrillers featuring as their central character the Inverness-based journalist Rebecca Connolly. I enjoyed reading the first three books in the series, which were each in their own ways very good, but I strongly believe that "Where Demons Hide" is the best yet, and by some margin. Perhaps this is partly because the author is now so totally at home with his characters and settings.
For me, though, the step up to another level has been achieved mainly through the compelling intricacy of the storytelling. The multiple strands are interwoven without leaving obvious or uncomfortable seams and the reader is carried along by the quality of the writing and the simple desire to know what happens next. Combine this with some particularly artful misdirection of the reader by the author and you have a plot that is packed with twists and turns and an ending that is nicely veiled and, when you get to it, feels absolutely right. The result is a superb read; and one I'd very highly recommend.
The plot moves back and forth between two main settings, Inverness and the Island of Stoirm. I find fictional settings can be distracting as I feel they divert some of the reader's focus on "what's going to happen next?" into focus on "where is this place meant to be?" But that may be a personal thing and perhaps the identity, geography and location of Stoirm is something I gave up worrying about after reading "Thunder Bay", the first in the author's series of Rebecca Connolly thrillers. Certainly the author's use of Stoirm as a setting didn't get in the way of my enjoyment of "Where Demons Hide".
To avoid spoilers, I'll stick with the publisher's blurb in talking about the storyline: "Something scared Nuala Flaherty to death. When her body is found in the centre of a pentagram on a lonely moor, Rebecca is determined to find out what. Was she killed by supernatural means, or is there a more down-to-earth explanation? Rebecca’s investigation leads her to a mysterious cult and local drug dealings. But what she doesn't know is that crime matriarch Mo Burke still has her in her crosshairs. Mo wants payback for the death of her son, and after one failed attempt to hurt Rebecca, she is upping the ante. And this time, it could be lethal."