"The Storm" is Neil Broadfoot's second novel featuring Edinburgh-based crime reporter Doug McGregor as its central character. Don't worry if, like us, you missed his widely acclaimed first book, "Falling Fast". "The Storm" stands on its own merits as a great read that keeps you guessing right to the very end. The reader's expectations are beautifully managed by an author whose mastery of his craft belies his relative inexperience as an author of novels, and the result is a climax that is as gripping as it is unexpected. Definitely a "must read" for all lovers of Tartan Noir: or anyone else who simply wants to enjoy a compelling tale.
Doug McGregor is an old-school crime reporter, a man who honed his skills in an age before the downward cycle of diminishing circulation and redundancies had reduced the "Capital Tribune" on which he works to a shadow of its former self. Then his life falls apart when his editor, a man he hates as enthusiastically as most of the newspaper's staff, is murdered right in front of him. A second gruesome and horrific murder soon follows, and the reader realises before the police and Doug that a third, carried out for very different reasons, is also connected to the other two.
Because Doug was present when the first murder took place, he is unable to investigate it on behalf of his paper. Instead, still in shock, he takes advantage of an invitation from an old colleague and mentor, now a hotelier on the Isle of Skye, to take some time out on the island and recover his composure and his perspective. But it soon becomes clear that Doug isn't going to be able to escape so easily from the consequences of events he only slowly comes to understand, and it also becomes clear that the eye of the storm has moved with him from Edinburgh to Skye. Meanwhile, Doug's close friend Detective Sergeant Susie Drummond is finding that her connections with him are causing considerable unease among the higher ranks of police Scotland, and she needs to work out whether his friendship is worth the risk it poses to her career.