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The Driftwood Girls (The Sea Detective Book 4)

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  140 ratings  ·  42 reviews

'I'm completely addicted to this series' Dermot O'Leary

Two missing women. Two decades apart. A gripping and atmospheric mystery that journeys from the dramatic lochs of Scotland to the icy depths of the North Sea . . .

Kate and Flora Tolmie have always lived with a mystery: what happened to their mother, Christina?

23 years ago, she vanished without a trace

Kindle Edition, 334 pages
Published January 9th 2020 by Penguin
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Average rating 4.27  · 
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Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mark Douglas-Home gives us the 4th in his terrific Sea Detective series, featuring marine scientist and oceanographer, Dr Caladh 'Cal' McGill, a solitary, taciturn man, a misanthrope who prefers his own company, emotionally unavailable to all, including those close to him and friends. He lives in Edinburgh, working as a detective on cases that make use of his special expertise. However, he finds himself the unwarranted target of hate from the public after the broadcast on TV of Missing Not ...more
Oct 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ive read all the previous Sea Detective books and really enjoyed them partly because the concept is so original and also because they are so well written. The Driftwood Girls is the fourth in the series and whilst I think it is good and I did enjoy it, its isn't as gripping in my opinion as the previous books. The sea detective is Dr Cal(adh) McGill, an oceanographer, who uses his vast knowledge and understanding of seas, waves and weather conditions to solve ocean based mysteries. At the ...more
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Driftwood Girls is the fourth instalment in The Sea Detective series set in Edinburgh, Scotland and featuring oceanographer and marine scientist Cal McGill. It's been twenty-three years since Edinburgh-native and single mother of six-year-old Kate and four-year-old Flora, Christina Tolmie vanished off the face of the earth whilst visiting the Northern coastal region of France. Now Cal is contacted by an older Kate as Flora has completely disappeared and although she was very young when her ...more
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
I have been looking forward since 2016 for this book to be written and published. I really enjoyed the first three books in the series. I did have it pre-ordered when I knew it was being released on international kindle. Mark Douglas-Home became a favorite author.

I know some reviewers felt that it could be read as a stand alone which is probably true but feel the series is so rich and so good that I would suggest one should start with the first book. You will want to read the rest once you do
Kirsty ❤️
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've read many different detectives but an oceanic detective is definitely a new one. Cal McGill helps find things, including people, lost in the ocean. After burying his old friend at sea he is asked to look for Kate's mother, missing over 20 years. The way that Cal looks up tides and wind speed etc to work out where the woman went missing from is fascinating even if I didn't understand it all (me & science= not friends). On doing so he links her to another dead girl from the same time ...more
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Another in the Sea Detective series which is a refreshing change. He uses the tides etc to locate the missing at sea. A fairly typical murder mystery, stagnant in places and the twist made up for it. Definitely not what I was expecting. Nothing is what it seems in this read until the big reveal. All in all a very enjoyable read and a good addition to this series.
I would like to thank the author, publisher and Netgalley for the ARC in return for giving an honest review.
I received a review copy of this book courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

I want to start this review with a bit of backstory about my relationship with crime fiction. For years, I have said that thrillers and crime fiction just aren't my thing. Ironically, though, some of my favourite TV shows are crime shows, or shows with heavy elements of the kind (think Sherlock, Lucifer etc.). So, I was wondering: why do I love detective shows, but dislike thriller/crime
Elaine Tomasso
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
I would like to thank Netgalley and Penguin UK - Michael Joseph for an advance copy of The Driftwood Girls, the fourth novel to feature the Sea Detective, Edinburgh based oceanographer Cal McGill.

Twenty-three years ago Christina Tolmie disappeared in France, leaving behind in Edinburgh her two daughters, six year old Kate and four year old Flora. Now Flora has gone missing and Cal seems to be the only answer.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Driftwood Girls after an admittedly slow and distracting start
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Driftwood Girls is the fourth novel in the sea detective series featuring Cal McGill, an oceanographer and a very unusual investigator. I read and enjoyed the first three books several years ago, and was delighted when NetGalley accepted my request to read this one. While it works fine as a standalone, as there is enough backstory, introduced in a natural way, to make sense of what is going on, I would suggest you start with The Sea Detective, and read them in order, for a much more ...more
Mike Sumner
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Number four in this original series and what a long wait it has been! Number three, The Malice of Waves was published in September 2016. The first, The Sea Detective in November 2015 and the second, The Woman Who Walked into the Sea in January 2016. And so I waited, regularly checking publication lists and had come to the conclusion that Mark Douglas-Home had run out of ideas...

How wrong can you be! The long wait has been entirely worth it! The Driftwood Girls is a masterclass in mystery writing
Alexandra [[The Hungry Book Dragon]]
High praise for Mark Douglas-Home and this amazing mystery story focusing on two different women who went missing twenty-three years ago and the people left behind.

Set between the Dutch coastal town of Texel and Edinburgh in Scotland we are first introduced to self proclaimed sea detective and oceanographer Dr. Caladh McGill as he tries to work out just what happened to two different women who disappeared.

One, leaving behind a broken, alcoholic father and the other, two young daughters left to
Miss R
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to Penguin Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

A hauntingly atmospheric thriller from Mark Douglas-Home.

Like many reviewers, I did not realise that this was part of series, but this can be read as a standalone. After reading "The Driftwood Girls" I will certainly be reading the predecessors in this series. It is difficult to encapsulate in words what makes this a darn good novel but if I had a gun to my head (metaphorically speaking), I would say that this is a
Dec 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the fourth in the series and in my opinion works well as a stand alone but, as always, it is better to start from book one and read in order, more so to get the best from the main character, Cal McGill and his backstory and development.
Cal is a sea-detective, using his skills and expertise to find both people and things that have been lost to the waters. As this chapter of his life begins, we find him in trouble over the part he played in the disappearance of a man. Slated online by
This is the fourth book in the Sea Detective series by Mark Douglas-Home featuring the taciturn marine scientist and oceanographer, Dr Caladh (Cal) McGill. Although I haven't read any of the other instalments, I was intrigued by the synopsis and so I was keen to dive straight into The Driftwood Girls.

Cal, a sea detective and expert on winds and the tides, is living in Edinburgh and uses his vast knowledge and expertise to solve ocean based mysteries. Cals reputation is called into question after
Cathy Cole
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cal McGill's full first name is Caladh which is Gaelic for a harbor or haven, and many people have come to him hoping he will end their nightmares and find their missing loved ones. With his exhaustive knowledge of winds and tides and his far-flung network of contacts, he's been very successful, and I hope he continues to be because Mark Douglas-Home's series is one of my very favorites.

As Cal begins his search for Kate's missing sister, he's also faced with the death of his best friend, Alex,
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up The Driftwood Girls looking for a bit of a palate cleanser after a string of historical fiction. While I do enjoy a mystery, it's not a genre I turn too particularly often as I do find it can be quite difficult to get them right. Mark Douglas-Home really hit the mark with this one! I thoroughly enjoyed it, and would recommend it to anyone who likes the genre.

The Driftwood Girls follows the story of Cal McGill, a 'sea detective' who uses his advanced knowledge of the tides to solve
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, detective
My thanks to Penguin U.K. Michael Joseph for an eARC via NetGalley of The Driftwood Girls by Mark Douglas-Home in exchange for an honest review.

Before I started reading I wasnt aware that this was the fourth in Douglas-Homes Sea Detective series though enough background was provided so I didnt feel all at sea.

Dr. Cal McGill is an oceanographer and an expert on the winds and the tides. He is a gifted finder of lost things - and lost people. His latest case involves two missing women, two decades
Mandie Lowe
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
My friend and I listened to the audio book version of this, which I don't see listed under the various editions. We had not read the first three books in the series and I really don't think it mattered. The story stands on its own and the characters are introduced and developed in such a way that the reader is not left in the dark about certain aspects.

I found the plot immediately engaging. I was invested in the investigation and very curious about what had happened and how the characters were
Christopher Williams
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Judith Ring
Mar 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. The plot was complex and comes together splendidly at the end. No loose ends, and this isnt a book without a proper ending. Additionally I wasnt able to guess the ending. The story spans over 2 time periods with the disappearance of more than one person. The protagonist is an oceanographer who uses the science of tides to help plot where bodies are likely to wash up if theyve gone into the sea. The characters were all believable and his style of writing kept me enthralled. I ...more
Amy Twigg
I love a good thriller. Especially one that starts with one of the main characters grave robbing.

The Driftwood Girls follows Dr Cal McGill, an oceanographer who uses his vast knowledge to help solve mysteries. When he's beseeched to investigate the disappearance of Christina Tolmie who went missing over 20 years ago, he's thrown into a tumult of danger and intrigue that will leave him fighting for his life.

This was a well-paced thriller, with some good twists and turns. Although the plot felt a
4th in the series - I haven't read the first three and didn't feel lost or like I was missing any information which is always good.

This book is great because the background is totally different form any other book I have read. Cal reads the oceans to better understand accidents/suicides/ deaths in the water. He looks at wind and water currents to work out where the bodies came from or where they could end up to help solve open cases.

This follows the story of a missing mother, she dies when her
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Mark Douglas Home ticks every box for me. I love the uniqueness of the Sea Detective and the Driftwood Girls is brilliant. Cal McGill is back, and as usual he is surrounded by controversy. However after the death of his friend he becomes caught up in an old mystery, What did happen to Flora (his friends girlfriend) and Kates mother so long ago. When Flora goes missing Kate finds a note to contact Cal and then the mystery really begins. So many mysteries seem attatched to the one mystery and soon ...more
Daisy Dooley
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't think I've read many books with a more complex plot, and intertwined list of characters. The story centres around Flora and Kate whose mother, Christine, went missing twenty-three years ago. But as the plot develops it becomes clear that everyone and everything in this novel are connected. It would be wrong to give away any spoilers but you will be compelled to learn the truth and how everyone is connected. Who is the mysterious Olaf, hiding away on a remote island with two other lost ...more
Tess Lock
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you Mark for writing another book in the series about Cal McGill sea detective, I have been waiting impatiently for this since finishing number three. Please anyone thinking about reading this series, do, you will never regret it and I am now going to be re-reading the first three to help with my sadness at finishing The Driftwood Girls.
As always the writing is superb, the characters so real I feel that they are personal friends and the storyline clever, complicated and all consuming.
Ed Napiorkowski
Feb 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book to be an entertaining but somewhat complicated story made even more so with a cast of multiple characters several with double identities and not everyone aware of who or what linked them all together. And when it came to a climax I felt exhausted, I had well and truly been drawn in. Read the dust cover for a summary but in my view 'The Driftwood Girls' is a great addition to the sea detective series and remains consistent in the portrayal of the main character. Thank you Mark ...more
Daniel Shindler
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This series is splendid

Mark Douglas Home has written a very engaging book.This novel is the fourth in the series and has Cal involved in a twenty three year old disappearance that has links to a current murder. The book has local color, tidbits of sea currents and a fast moving plot.I am glad to see Detective Helen Jamieson more heavily involved in the action. Highly recommend..DanielS
Nov 23, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Quite surprised to find this is book 4 in series,it certainly reads as a stand alone.
Very interesting and new idea of a sea detective,working out the tides and where bodies might wash up.
Also an interesting story of two missing women,over twenty years apart,and the tangled way that everyone ad everything seemed to be connected.
All of it was nicely tied up,and I had one "oooh" moment,which is always a good think.
This was something a bit different,and I like different.
Jodie (whatjodiereads)
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Although some parts of this one were a bit confusing, I did really enjoyed the story. I got a bit confused because theres quite a few characters and theyre all introduced at the same time, so you had to pay attention otherwise it easily became complicated. I found the book really easy to read, and it was definitely an intriguing storyline. I liked the characters, and liked that you get to know them on a personal level. I felt like some parts of the story were really dragged out and that some ...more
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Mark Douglas-Home is a newspaper editor turned author. The Sea Detective, his first novel, introduced a new kind of investigator to crime fiction - the oceanographer Cal McGill who tracks floating objects, including dead bodies. It received critical praise, becoming a Sunday Times 'Crime Book of the Month' and was followed by The Woman Who Walked Into The Sea ('simply intoxicating, the Library ...more

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