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Jardine, Quintin - 'Grievous Angel'
Paperback: 480 pages (Feb. 2012) Publisher: Headline ISBN: 0755356942

Chief Constable Bob Skinner has recently visited two very nasty crime scenes and they have awakened old memories. His wife encourages him to write down all the horror stories - a sort of reminiscence - for therapeutic purposes rather than for publishing.

He starts with the story of the crime family whose internal war ended up with a man being trapped in a wheelchair and who was reckoned to be no longer part of the criminal world. However, when Marlon Watson the driver of Manson, a rival crime boss, is found brutally murdered, Perry Holmes is investigated to see if he was the instigator of the murder. DCI Skinner's promotion to Superintendent of the Serious Crime Squad in Edinburgh was to be announced the next day, so when he was called out to the murder scene he half expects that the case will land on his desk. He takes over responsibility and starts to build his squad of policemen for their first investigation.

Skinner is a widow with a teenage daughter. He is having a secret relationship with DI Alison Higgins and his private life is even more complicated when he begins an unwise and potentially explosive relationship with the estranged sister of the murdered man. Meanwhile, DI Alison Higgins is assigned to the investigations of two seemingly random and unconnected murders of young men that might be linked to the gay scene. With little evidence to help her, she asks for advice from Skinner.

Not much headway is being made in either investigation when the murders of two suspects for the death of Marlon are discovered. Skinner starts to wonder whether someone in the squad is passing on information.

This is a convoluted story with the back-story of Bob Skinner and his family and relationship providing a linking thread throughout. It was a good read and provided some surprises almost to the last page.

Susan White, England
August 2012

Details of the author's other books with links to reviews can be found on the Books page.
More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 4/08/2012 15:07