Crime Fiction

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The Stalker

The latest book in the William Lorimer series by Alex Gray
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Published in November last year, The Stalker is book 16 in the William Lorimer series written by Scottish author, Alex Gray. This is a series I’ve been reading since 2002, so I’m familiar with the characters and look forward to new books being published.

William Lorimer is a Glasgow detective, married to a school teacher called Maggie. In book 1 (Never Somewhere Else) Lorimer is dealing with a serial killer. The case is going nowhere and, against his instincts, he finds himself working with a psychologist and criminal profiler called Dr Solomon Brightman. As much as a police procedural, the book is about the friendship that develops between the two men. But the story is gritty and the characters real, so it was easy to get pulled into the series and I’ve enjoyed every one of the books so far.

Over the years I think they’ve got gentler. Not necessarily the crimes, but the way the stories are told. Of course, the cases are interesting and there are twists and turns in all the plots, but the later books seem more carefully constructed and Alex Gray takes more time to pad out the characters. Everything feels more human.

The Stalker illustrates this. By now, Lorimer is a Detective Superintendent heading a large team across more than one office; and his wife is developing a new career as a children’s author. As Lorimer investigates the murder of two women (with the help of Solomon Brightman), Maggie embarks on a publicity tour to promote her first book. Gray moves the reader easily between the two storylines but soon there is a stalker shadowing Maggie as she travels around Scotland. The strands intertwine, separate and then join again. The plot is built carefully but without huge amounts of tension or sudden surprises, although the finale is a chase against the clock. The story is told well and the plot is interesting. It's not the best book of the series but it's still very enjoyable.

I'd rate The Stalker 3+ Stars but I’d give some of the earlier titles a higher rating.
Cornish Eskimo

If you enjoy reading crime fiction you're welcome to come along to our book group meetings. We don't operate to a set reading list and our meetings are informal but fun. We get together at Oundle Library on the third Friday of every month @ 2.30pm. So if you fancy a chat with other crime fiction fans just drop in.