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Helen Forbes Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Land of the Dead (2008)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
In the Shadow of the Hill (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Madness Lies (2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Helen Forbes
Helen Forbes is a mystery author known for her crime novels Madness Lies and In the Shadow of the Hill. The author has also written a few contemporary and historical fiction pieces as well as short stories. When she is not writing, Forbes enjoys her work as a lawyer in Inverness. She published the first two novels based in Outer Hebrides and Inverness, two areas that she feels have not been given enough attention in the crime-fiction genre. Forbes also has a deep liking for the Gaelic language and island communities, which explains her choice of characters in her stories.

In The Shadow Of The Hill
In The Shadow Of The Hill tells the story of Sergeant Joe Galbraith, a detective with police Scotland. When an elderly woman is battered to death and her body left on the stairway of a block of flats, Joe is determined to find her killers and ensure they pay for their crime. To the common observer, it seems that the elderly woman was just at the wrong place and time. However, things take a darker turn when Joe starts unraveling some unsettling details. Who would want to kill an old lady, and why do it so brutally? This murder leads Joe to Harris, a place that holds memories that he has been working hard to forget.
Among the stunning landscape and mountains lies a tragic story and buried events that are more sinister than they appear. The author throws Gaelic snippets throughout the story, but the character’s disdain for Harris is evident from the start. Through this story, the author captures the malevolence and intricacies that come with Island and Highland life. Tragedy and vengeance merge, but the magical beauty of Hebrides is there to soften the blow. Can Joe stay focused on this case that is forcing him to face his past demons? Who killed the old lady, and what was their motivation? Read this book for these answers and more.

This is an intriguing novel set in Inverness and the Island of Harris. The author introduces Joe in his current position before taking you on a journey to his past and traumatic childhood. It is easy to see how the past determines someone’s future through Joe’s thinking and actions. As the details about his life unfold, we also get to witness as Joe works out the details that later reveal the killer he is pursuing. With the rising body count, Joe knows that he has to rush against time before more lives are lost. The plot twist towards the end will catch you by surprise, and you can be sure that will be nothing like you anticipated.

In The Shadow Of The Hill takes you on one hell of a roller-coaster. There is passion, drunkenness, an affluent family, poor life, and enough police detectives. In short, there is life. As the mystery behind the Harris Hills unfolds, the author lets us into the protagonist’s life, highlighting the events that shaped his life. The juicy parts come in doses, which helps build the suspense and keep you turning the pages. This story is well-intentioned, which works excellent for cozy mystery fans. The characters are well developed, and everything from the flow to the pace is just right.

Madness Lies
Madness Lies comes second in Helen Forbes’ Highland Noir. The story starts with the killing of Inverness Councilor in broad daylight right in the middle of town. By chance, Sergeant Joe Galbraith saw someone familiar running from what is clearly a random attack. When Joe and his partner start their investigation, they realize that there are working with very little information. Those who are close to the Councilor claimed that he did not have any enemies, but clearly, someone hated him enough to want him dead. So, who is the culprit, and why did the Councilor have to die in such a senseless way?

Given this is a high-profile case, Joe has to move fast and follow every single lead he gathers. He has to questions suspects who are not ready to diverge any information without a little coercing and use his detective skills to unravel the rest. However, his superiors feel that Joe is not doing enough with this investigation, so he is relieved off his duties. Can Joe stay away knowing that a ruthless killer is walking the streets looking for his next victim? What action does he take to stop this madness? Away from Joe, you are going to love interacting with the rest of the cast and enjoying the well-described views and healing waves together with your favorite characters.

This book takes you to the underbelly of a vibrant city with a dark side. The beauty of Inverness makes it a delightful tourist destination, but some weird people call this city home, and there are also the psychos who will kill without giving their actions a second thought. At the heart of this story are three men, Chris Brent, Gordon Sutherland, and Todd Curtis. How are these men connected to this case, and who among them shot the Councilor? As more people are killed in bizarre ways, things get heated at work, and Joe is suspended. As if his life cannot get any worse, his girlfriend’s health gets out of control, and he has no idea how to make life easier for her.

Madness Lies is a thrilling crime story that moves from Inverness to North Uist and, at some point, to London. The story climaxes at the notorious Black Rock Gorge, which is a point of no return for Joe. Can the talented detective get out of this alive? This book comes with a brilliant plot, a great protagonist, and a storyline that is anything but ordinary. The pace starts to escalate from the first chapter, and the tension rises as more unforeseen twists arise. You will barely see the twist towards the end coming, and the story will leave you yearning for more. While this book can be enjoyed as a standalone, you will understand everything better if you have read the first book in the series.

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