Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay

by Douglas Skelton


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Stoirm’s secrets are worth killing for in this gripping thriller for readers of All the Missing Girls and Neon Prey.

When reporter Rebecca Connolly gets a tip that suspected murderer Roddie Drummond will be returning to the island of Stoirm, she smells a story. Though never convicted in the death of his girlfriend Mhairi fifteen years earlier, Drummond is still guilty in the eyes of many islanders, and his return for his mother’s funeral is sure to stir up old resentments, hatreds, possibly even violence. Rebecca has another reason for going to Stoirm. Her own father came from there, but he never went back, and he always refused to speak of it or say what drove him away.
Defying her editor, Rebecca joins forces with local photographer Chazz Wymark to dig into the mystery surrounding Mhairi's death and her unexplained last words, “Thunder Bay”—the secluded spot on the west coast of the island where, according to local lore, the souls of the dead set off into the afterlife. When a string of violent events erupts across the island, Rebecca discovers the power of secrets, and she must decide what to bury, and what to bring into the light.
Longlisted for Bloody Scotland's McIlvanney Prize for best crime book of the year, Thunder Bay has been hailed as "Immersive, compelling . . . [with a] jaw-dropping climax" (Neil Broadfoot, author of the MacGregor and Drummond thrillers).).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781950691340
Publisher: Arcade Crimewise
Publication date: 02/11/2020
Pages: 312
Sales rank: 734,337
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Douglas Skelton was born in Glasgow. He has been a bank clerk, tax officer, taxi driver (for two days), wine waiter (for two hours), journalist, and investigator of real-life crime for Glasgow solicitors. He has written eleven true crime and Scottish criminal history books but now concentrates on fiction. His novel Open Wounds was longlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for best crime book of the year. He lives in southwest Scotland.

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Thunder Bay 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
SheTreadsSoftly 21 hours ago
Thunder Bay by Douglas Skelton is a very highly recommended dark, atmospheric mystery/thriller. Scottish reporter Rebecca Connolly learns that suspected murderer Roddie Drummond will be returning to the Hebridean island of Stoirm to attend his mother's funeral. Fifteen years earlier his girlfriend Mhairi was murdered, and, even though he was not convicted, Roddie is guilty in the eyes of many islanders. He left the island immediately after the trial and hasn't been back since. His return will certainly stir up resentments and trouble. Rebecca has other, personal, reasons for wanting to visit the island so she goes ahead and travels there in defiance of her editor. She is looking into both the story of Mhairi's murder and her own family history. Thunder Bay is a beautifully written mystery/thriller. Skelton introduces the large cast of characters via their interactions in the local social structure as Rebecca begins her investigation. All the characters are complex and well-developed, and the island, "it's an island thing," is as much a character as the people in this atmospheric mystery. Secrets abound on the island. Rebecca's interactions and the answers she receives to the questions she is asking perfectly captures the social culture and setting. As the plot advances, the information Rebecca is uncovering begins to create a tension. This tension increases and builds incrementally until it is palpable. The hostility and unease she experiences is from both her investigation of the murder, as well as questions about her family's history on the island. As in any closed, tightly knit community, there are secrets and resentments that people have kept hidden. Skelton uses flashbacks to enhance the plot and tell some of the backstory. I enjoyed this novel immensely, but have to admit that I was disappointed with the reveal of the secret that made Rebecca's father leave the island forever. Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Simon & Schuster.
Anonymous 4 days ago
Rebecca is a reporter for a small weekly newspaper in the Scottish highlands. Her friend tells her there's a developing story in a small island off the Scottish coast and against her boss's wishes, she goes to investigate. The island has many secrets, and Rebecca stirs up trouble among residents who would prefer to forget some of the things in the past. The author evokes the dark and sinister atmosphere of the island, and the suspicious insularity of its denizens. Thanks to the publisher and to Netgalley for this ARC.
RowingRabbit 6 days ago
I’m a big fan of Mr. Skelton’s Davie McCall series so when the chance came to read his new stand alone book, I grabbed it. Rebecca Connolly is a young reporter at a small weekly paper in Inverness. And she just got a tip on a story that may help her personally & professionally. Chaz Wymark is her contact on Stoirm, an island off the west coast of Scotland, and he has some news. A woman named Mary Drummond recently died & rumour has it her son Roddie will be attending the funeral. Hardly earth shattering unless you know the whole story. Fifteen years ago, Roddie was tried for the brutal murder of his girlfriend Mhairi Sinclair. Although he was not convicted by the courts, many of the locals had no doubt he was guilty & when the trial ended he vanished. Now he’s coming home & Chaz believes his return will stir up hard feelings that have been simmering all these years. Boy, was he right. Rebecca has another more personal reason for visiting Stoirm. Her father was born there but left when he was young. He never went back & died without ever speaking about his previous life. Maybe now she can find his past. Grab your favourite beverage, find a comfy spot & settle in. There’s a great story ahead & I have to begin with the setting. It’s perfect. I couldn’t help but think of a volcano… first glance, it’s idyllic & beautiful to look at but you soon feel tremors that give you an inkling it could blow at any time. A small island community allows the author to weave complicated relationships, culture, isolation & weather into the story with great effect. Through his descriptions, you can see the stunning yet harsh landscape & feel the driving storms in your bones. The insular mindset means you may not love your neighbours but you have to live with them & will stand united against outsiders. As Rebecca soon discovers. There’s a large cast & they share a massive amount of history. As Rebecca digs into Mhairi’s life, we meet her parents, Roddie’s family, an ex-cop with an agenda, those she grew up with & various locals. One of those is Henry Stuart, the local laird who is butting heads with some of the residents over his big plans to draw tourists to the island. It’s a battle he literally can’t afford to lose due to some of the “businessmen” he’s hooked up with. Rebecca is the primary narrator but several historical chapters are told by those who were involved in events preceding Mhairi’s death. It’s then we learn the whole messy story & grasp the significance of some of the subplots in the present. These people hold secrets like it’s an Olympic event & as the chapters fly by, the hits just keep on coming. The story has one weak spot (IMHO) that accounts for my rating. As much as I enjoyed watching the present day drama unfold, I also wanted to know what Rebecca would learn about her father. When the reason he left the island was revealed I had a hard time believing it could impact him that deeply. I don’t want to give anything away so it’s hard to explain but it just didn’t seem personal enough to make him alter the course of his life. That said, I really enjoyed this. Skelton is a wonderful story teller & the well drawn cast & atmospheric prose pull you right into the thick of it. There are several characters I’d love to bump into again so if this is the start of a new series, sign me up for book #2 please.