I really enjoyed the slow suspense of The Second Stranger.

Remie York has one shift left at the Mackinnon Hotel, based in the remote Scottish highlands, and then she gets to hand in her badge, get to the airport and go on her adventures.

But then a storm closes in a different kind of adventure begins. Snow falls, temperatures drop, and an injured man knocks on the door. PC Don Gaines. He was transporting a prisoner when an accident happened and now he needs a safe space to stay while he looks for an escapee. That’s all well and good but then another stranger knocks. Says he’s PC Don Gaines and she needs to watch out for an escaped prisoner…

The hotel and Remie are very isolated, and you certainly feel it as you read through the pages. The author creates a nice sense of atmosphere. I say ‘nice’ – but it’s chilly and eerie. The suspense builds slowly (maybe too slowly for some, but it worked for me) as Remie desperately tries to work out what’s going on and who she can trust. Interspersed with her worries are flashbacks to times she tried to help her brother – a troubled soul who ended up involved in gangs, with an eventual death in prison. Could any of it be related, she wonders?

I never predicted what came next (and could not guess which Gaines was the real one) and found the ending satisfying. A good read.