I picked up The House Between Tides by Sarah Maine at Waterstones since it was Waterstones Scottish Book of the Year. Although not a Scottish author, her setting for this and Women of the Dunes, couldn’t be more Scottish, based on the north west coast.
In House Between Tides Libby is left a falling down ruin of a house on a tiny tidal island. As she investigates the possibility of its renovation a body is found rendering the place an unsolved crime scene.
Feelings of the community run high as the island is threatened by redevelopment. The author cleverly reveals truths about the past and as the story begins to unfold she weaves the past into the present in the most unexpected of ways.
I have also read The Women of the Dunes. What a wonderfully evocative cover!
Libby follows the trail of stories from her home in Canada to the Hebrides, tales passed down to her of Ullaness, Ulla the Norse-woman and the chapel, involving intrigue, disappearances and possibly murder.
The past catches up with her as she prepares to bring students on an archaeological dig on this tidal island. Even before the excavations take place a body is found opening up speculation as to the circumstances of this murder from the Victorian era.
Women of the Dunes is a clever weaving of three time periods as the secrets of the past are finally unravelled, but that does not mean that the present is without tensions and danger.
Both books are clever plots with carefully honed characters ~ Much enjoyed and highly recommended!