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The Lost Sister    by Russel D. McLean order for
Lost Sister
by Russel D. McLean
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Lost Sister follows The Good Son as the second in Russel D. McLean's mystery series starring Scottish PI/ex-copper J. McNee. McNee gets way too involved in his cases. Luckily, he has a friend (and perhaps more) in Detective Constable Susan Bright who, despite her criticism of him, always has his back.

The case that draws McNee in this time is that of the disappearance of fourteen-year-old, trustworthy Mary Furst. Reporter Cameron Connolly hires McNee to help him break the story. The catch? Young Mary's godfather is Dundee criminal David Burns, with whom McNee has had a painful run in before. And Susan's father, DCI Ernie Bright, is the lead on the case - McNee trained under him during his brief stint in the CID.

McNee learns, from Mary's computer that most of her communication was with Deb, who turns out to be Mary's art teacher. But she's also gone missing. Then a PI named Wickes makes contact. He tells McNee that Deborah Brown had 'agreed to surrogate for a couple struggling to conceive' and is Mary's birth mother. But things got complicated.

Wickes, who was in a relationship with Deborah, claims that she's obsessed and that Mary is in danger from her. He asks for McNee's help to find them. And McNee, who has a reputation as 'a man who drags his own disaster around with him like a wrecking ball', learns something disturbing about DCI Bright's involvement. What is going on?

Of course, McNee and the reader find out by the end, but not before a vicious confrontation with a monster that reminds our hero that 'No one knows anything.' If you enjoy Scottish crime fiction, you won't want to miss The Lost Sister.

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