The Scottish Prisoner
I admit it – I am a major Diana Gabaldon fan and a particular devotee of her Lord John Grey character. To say I was eager to savor and review her newest in the series, The Scottish Prisoner, is an understatement; as with all favored authors, I worried if Lord John would captivate me once again. Added into my concern was the inclusion of my hero Jamie Fraser as a major point-of-view character: would this novel derail my enthusiasm for both men? Thankfully, the answer is no, and my fascination remains intact.
The Scottish Prisoner’s main focus is, of course, Lord John Grey, as he again finds himself needing to investigate a fellow officer’s potential criminal activity at the behest of his brother the duke. Upon examination of the situation, both men decide that their best bet lies in the use of Jacobite prisoner Jamie Fraser, whose knowledge and skills will bring them closer to trapping their man. Jamie is reluctant to leave Helwater, the estate where he is serving part of his sentence for the Jacobite Rebellion, as his secret and only son is there; he realizes he has no choice, however, and finds himself partnered with Lord John. The two men exchanged heated words the last time they were together; will they be able to solve this mystery and perhaps repair the threads of friendship?
There is quite a bit of set up for the first 150 pages or so, and Lord John continues to grapple with his feelings for Jamie. Jamie is the Jamie we love: strong, canny, devoted. Actually the mystery itself is secondary to the story of friendship broken and reforged. The stories of both men blend brilliantly and are heartrending, and Gabaldon’s storytelling is in top form. Highly recommended.