An Unfolding Trap

About the Book by Jo A. Hiestand

Cover An Unfolding TrapSince his infancy, Michael McLaren has been the target of his paternal grandfather’s anger. So when the patriarch sends an invitation to heal the rift, McLaren travels to Scotland, eager to meet and finally end the feud. But the welcome never happens. If Grandfather hadn’t invited him, who had?  And why?

In Edinburgh, a man standing beside McLaren in a bus queue is killed in a hit-and-run accident. After an attack leaves McLaren for dead on a wintry moor, he’s convinced someone from his past is trying to murder him.

As McLaren trails the hit-and-run driver from the medieval ‘underground city’ of Edinburgh to the Boar’s Rock the MacLaren Clan’s ancestral meeting place the assaults intensify, and he’s plunged into a very personal hunt for a World War II treasure. The puzzle is fascinating; he just has to stay alive to solve it.

Enter the contest below of an international giveaway of a Union Jack tea towel and oven mitt, along with a McLaren-themed gel mousepad and follow the tour for excerpts from the book

Review by Felita Daniels / 217 Pages

This is the fifth book in the McLaren series. You can enjoy it without having read the first four. I liked that when something strange happens early on, Michael recognizes it as something suspicious. The pace of the early action seems slowed by Michael taking time to ponder and ‘think about’ what is going on. In the midst of his dilemma he does some sightseeing. He makes a few phone calls. But I was about to the middle of the book before he seemed to start taking real action.

Don’t get me wrong, I liked learning about the country and the lore of the clans. It just felt much of the action was happening around and ‘to’ McLaren in the beginning. Of course, this is hinted at in the book title, An Unfolding Trap.

McLaren’s character is well drawn. I appreciated that in trying to understand his grandfather’s attitude towards him, he looked into the family history. There he found some background that gave him something to feel compassion and understanding for the older man.

This was an enjoyable read for me and I will probably seek out the earlier books. Michael McLaren’s specialty is evidently in solving cold cases. Anyone that likes British mysteries or police procedurals, I believe, will appreciate this novel and the series. The author does her research on both the country and police methods and it shows in this book.

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About the Author

Jo A. Hiestand PhotoA month-long trip to England during her college years introduced Jo to the joys of Things British. Since then, she has been lured back nearly a dozen times, and lived there during her professional folk singing stint. This intimate knowledge of Britain forms the backbone of both the Taylor & Graham mysteries and the McLaren cold case mystery series.

Jo’s insistence for accuracy, from police methods and location layout to the general feel of the area, has driven her innumerable times to Derbyshire for research. These explorations and conferences with police friends provide the detail filling the books.

In 1999 Jo returned to Webster University to major in English. She graduated in 2001 with a BA degree and departmental honors.

Her cat Tennyson shares her St. Louis home.

Author Website

McLaren Series Website


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21 Responses to An Unfolding Trap

  1. Good morning! Thank you for hosting my review today.

  2. Liz pozniak

    Looks like a great curl up in your chair with a blanket and a hot cup of tea to read day.

  3. Beverley Ashey

    Just finished “Cold Revenge”. Awesome book, sorry I didn’t find your books before. I’ve alot of catching up to do!

    • Beverly, how kind of you to tell me that you liked “Cold Revenge.” It’s McLaren’s first adventure, so I hope you follow him thru the series, if you like him. Again, thanks — I appreciate your reading and your comment so much. What a nice addition to my day!

  4. Kathy Allen

    Looks to me like these people are finding your books if they think they are a curl up in your chair and read type. They sure are.

    Jo, you know I am prejudiced about your books because I LOVE them all. Please let folks know that I have requested to put in the new titles and order. Haven’t heard from them yet but they’ll get to it. Is there another place we can find the correct order to read them in?

  5. Kathy Allen

    Scuse me for leaving a word out previously. I have asked to put your new titles “in” order.

    • Kathy, you are more savvy about this stuff than I am! I’m tech-challenged, as we know. I think you said it perfectly — that Fictfact will list the books in order. ALSO have the books listed in order in my website, which is Look under the BOOKS tab and you’ll see them in order of publication…and McLaren’s adventures! 😉 Thanks so much, Kathy.

  6. Rita Wray

    Thank you for the review.

    • I echo your thanks, Rita. I also enjoyed today ver much. Thanks to everyone who left a comment, and thank to Lilac Reviews for hosting my book today. Good night!

      • Thanks Jo A. Heistand for stopping by and chatting with our readers. I love that you have the books in order on your website. I will be doing a little shopping over the weekend! I hadn’t heard about about Fictfact. I will have to check that out too.

        • Felita, thank YOU for the review. My friend Kathy introduced me to Fictfact. Evidently the books are listed in order, there, but they’re on my website, as I said. I like to read a series in order if I can — character relationships change, and it’s fun to seem things develop between them. Again, thanks for the review time.

  7. Sandy

    How did I miss this series? My daughter lives in the UK and I hope to visit again this summer. I love British mysteries. Thanks for the chance to win.

  8. Sandy…I hope you like McLaren’s books if you read them! 😉 Good luck on the drawing, too! Thanks.

  9. darla

    What are some of the things you absorbed on your first trip to England?

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