Allen, Hannia - 'Double Tap'
A former senior detective in the police force has resigned and moved from London back to Edinburgh in order to look after her daughter and new grand-daughter. Von Valenti now works as private detective and her latest case is to locate a young man with mental health problems that has left home to live on the streets. The young man, Phil, has always remained in touch with his mother but when he fails to meet her she employs Von to find him.
Phil has apparently made some new friends recently and tracking them down leads Von to a paint-balling centre where two murders have recently taken place. Both victims had been killed by two shots - professionally known as a "double tap". This leads police to consider the possibility of a professional killer hired to kill the two young men but Von wonders what Phil's connection was with the crime, or indeed with people so far removed from his life. DI Steve English was a colleague of Von's in London and is allocated the murder case, and they find themselves working close together again as their cases start to converge.
Threaded through the story is Von's difficult and demanding relationship with her daughter. The daughter who was brought up by her grandparents as Von concentrated on her career. Now Von is finding that her daughter, barely an adult, is not ready for the responsibilities of being a mother either.
For a reason that didn't become apparent, the story is set at the turn of the Millennium and this was an oddity in an interesting story. This is the second appearance of Von Valenti, but the story can be read alone as a stand-alone.
Susan White, England
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