cover image Blood, Salt, Water

Blood, Salt, Water

Denise Mina. Little, Brown, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-0-316-38054-6

Roxanna Fuentecilla, the suspicious character at the center of Mina’s riveting sixth novel featuring Glasgow Det. Insp. Alex Morrow (after 2013’s The Red Road), has been under loose surveillance. The Scottish police suspect her of shady business dealings involving her insurance agency and possibly having a hand in stealing—or laundering—£7 million. When one of Roxanna’s children reports her missing and her cell phone records place her in Helensburgh, Morrow and her colleague, Det. Constable Howard McGrain, pretend to be Missing Persons officers and travel to the sleepy coastal town. Meanwhile, two Helensburgh men, Iain Fraser and Tommy Farmer, murder a woman and toss her body in the local loch. And the unexpected return of Susan Grierson, who spent 20 years in the U.S., brings back long-buried memories for Iain, not all of them comfortable. As Morrow discovers troubling evidence of Roxanna’s widespread dirty dealings, more bodies turn up in Helensburgh. Morrow’s incarcerated half-brother, gangster Danny McGrath, adds a wild card to an installment that exposes the bleakness of small-town Scotland as skillfully as it does the bustling mean streets of Glasgow. (Dec.)