It is interesting how this novel changes your perspective of things.
The initial reaction we get is of shock and outrage when we learn that someone has gone on a killing spree and murdered several people. I can’t say that Russel’s actions are justified. Nobody has a right to kill anybody. Yet, we can understand Russel’s mind frame when he decided to go after Mark Kirkby. We still don’t know the details, but Grace is discovering that there are reasons why Russel acted the way he did. First, there was Mark’s friend pulling Russel over and charging him with drink driving, and Grace imagines that it would’t have been too difficult for Mark to know what Russel was up to that day. It was Russel’s birthday, and Mark must have known this through the children, so it was likely that if Russel went to the pub, he would drink a bit more than usual, and Grace also thinks that it wouldn’t be difficult for Mark’s police friend Curtis to identify the car and smash the rear light so that he had an excuse later to pull him over. Grace admits she has no proof and it’s all conjecture.
What she knows through Davie, Russel’s ten-year-son, is that Mark showed him a gun, and when he told his father, he was upset and angry, so Davie had to say he had made it up. Now Grace wonders if the gun that killed Mark was the one he owned. Grace discovers that Mark doesn’t have a firearms permit, and it is strange than a policeman could have a gun illegally.
I think there is something important in the gun and the bullets used in the crimes. One of the detectives, Duncan, explains to Grace that the casings of the bullets have the mark of the army, but it is not so uncommon for these to be re-utilised. What they have found is that these casings were filled with the same machine than other bullets that had been part of crimes around the country, and that is why Duncan, the detective, thinks that the person who provided the bullets must be someone local. He also mentions Leonard, Robyn’s father, as a gun dealer who has helped them before with information about some illegal tradings, so that means that Leonard is an honest dealer. That means that she can’t have been involved in this crime. However, I think that there must be a reason why this man and his daughter appear so much in the book.