The basis for this story is set in the past. Twenty-odd years ago a crime was committed which impacts on the choice of one woman - Orla McLeod - to become a member of an elite undercover Glasgow Police force.
A current sting operation leaves 5 dead and a 9-year-old, almost autistic boy, Orla's to care for and protect. Attempting to avenge the tortuous death of her policeman lover, it slowly becomes clear that the man who spent 20 years in prison for the murder of Orla's father and brother may be involved in this more current crimewave. Violence has a tangable reality in the thoughtful, sparsly elegant writing of Ms Scott. Both the inner city setting of Glasgow and the wild highlands of Scotland are delineated with the generosity of love.
Most of all, however, it is the characters who make this work memorable. Both Orla and the primary villain are devastatingly strong and abysmally frail, while the boy's ambiguities are tender and heartbreaking.
This report prepared by Tamlin Moray
Bantam, Apr 2002, 22.95, 320 pp.
In Glasgow, Detective Inspector Orla McLeod and her partner Luke Tyler work undercover. They plan to bring to an end the brutal Tord Svensen's criminal empire. However, everything quickly unravels as either someone on their team informed Tord or they slipped up somehow because they are spotted as infiltrating intruders. When the dust settles, Luke is dead and the only person living who can identify Tord is the nine-year-old boy who saved Orla's life even as he watched his own mother killed.
Orla realizes that she must keep the lad Jamie Buchanan safe, but Glasgow means death for the youngster. She takes him to the Scottish Highlands, but Tord is coming. No one lives if they can finger Tord.
NO GOOD DEED is as good a police procedural thriller as it gets. The story line is powerful and descriptive even with the villain identified almost from the start. The action moves out as soon as the reader begins the opening paragraph. Yet Manda Scott insures that the characters are fully developed, especially the haunted Orla. As she did with HEN'S TEETH, Ms. Scott provides a Scottish police procedural worth reading by anyone who relishes a loaded fast-paced thriller.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner