In a Winter Grave, Peter May takes a genre-crossing risk; his police procedural combines elements of speculative science fiction with murky political thriller. And it pays off, at least partly because of the bleak, atmospheric setting.
Some thirty years in the future, a watery Scotland has become a frontier in a world ravaged by climate change. Middle-aged, melancholic detective Cameron Brodie is dispatched from Glasgow to the Highlands when the frozen body of a journalist is found on a mountain. It soon transpires Brodie has a family connection to the case, paving the way for plenty of psychodrama amidst the conspiracy.
The pace and the characterisations are pitch perfect for the intended audience. May’s story comes together with a certain seamlessness, demonstrating his skill and confidence as a writer.