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The Scarlet Cross by Lyn McFarlane

Title: The Scarlet Cross

A dark sky above a hospital under white text that reads The Scarlet Cross. Lyn McFarlane is in red text. The tagline reads who is marking St Jude's patients for death?

Author: Lyn McFarlane

Genre: Crime

Publisher: Pantera Press

Published: 29th March 2022

Format: Paperback

Pages: 360

Price: $29.99

Synopsis: Meredith Griffin manages the emergency department at St Jude Hospital. A specialist in
psychiatric nursing, she’s also an expert at hiding her own problems – and solving everyone
else’s.

When women with the same fatal injury begin turning up in Meredith’s emergency ward, their deaths are labelled as suicides. But Meredith isn’t so sure. With the help of Detective
Leo Donnelly, she begins an investigation to prove that the women were murdered.

As pressure mounts from all quarters to stop her, questions arise about why the women were targeted – and why the hospital is so desperate to cover things up.

In a battle against addiction, self-doubt and a corrupt institution that may be hiding a serial killer, Meredith finds herself in the crosshairs of a network of powerful people – all of whom
will stop at nothing to protect their privilege and keep her from the truth.

An atmospheric and intelligent crime thriller set in a hospital where nothing is as it seems.

~*~

Women are dying in St Jude’s, and they all have the same Latin Cross as the fatal injury, and only Meredith Griffin, who works in the emergency department, notices. The deaths are ruled as suicides, but Meredith, and detective Leo Donnelly, think there might be more to the deaths. The subsequent investigation leads them down a dark road, that implicates the Catholic Church and forces many to examine their beliefs and jobs at the hospital, where they’re beholden to certain rules. The privilege of those running the hospital puts Meredith and those close to her in jeopardy – but can Meredith find out what is really going on before the case hits too close to home?

The Scarlet Cross is an exhilarating and intriguing mystery, where clues are drip fed throughout the novel, amidst the revelations of the flaws and addictions of the characters, illustrating how different people cope with neurodiversity and mental health within the same family, as illustrated by Bella and Meredith, two sisters, whose family history comes out as well through their interactions, building a deep understanding of the characters and their motivations and what has formed them over the years to get them to where they are in the novel.

The clever crafting of the mystery ensures that clues are presented at the right time, and that everyone has their place, as we find suspects, and work out who is who, and what their agenda is – and how they utilise their power and influence to ensure something is kept secret – something that is haunting people and a mystery that has been building for  a while, with links that are surprising and when presented as a serial killer case, make sense within the context of what the killer is trying to do and say.

I found this book a clever take on the mystery genre, where someone other than the detective is investigating, and the subtlety of finding out who did it, and presenting us with the clues worked well when it came to revealing who was really behind it all, and why, and the sinister people who may have been tangentially involved, or not, but still had to deal with the fallout and consequences of what they supported and tried to do. It was cleverly down to make us as the reader think about who we can trust in the story, and why we suspect certain people, and how we react to the issues presented in the book that Meredith has to deal with throughout the story.

I think this story is clever and intricate, especially as we reach the final chapters, where it feels as though everything starts to happen at once as the truth is uncovered, and it is one that I had to sit and finish before I could do anything else. A great book for crime fiction fans.

hen it came to revealing who was really behind it all, and why, and the sinister people who may have been tangentially involved, or not, but still had to deal with the fallout and consequences of what they supported and tried to do. It was cleverly down to make us as the reader think about who we can trust in the story, and why we suspect certain people, and how we react to the issues presented in the book that Meredith has to deal with throughout the story.

I think this story is clever and intricate, especially as we reach the final chapters, where it feels as though everything starts to happen at once as the truth is uncovered, and it is one that I had to sit and finish before I could do anything else. A great book for crime fiction fans.

3 thoughts on “The Scarlet Cross by Lyn McFarlane”

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