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Lalbeharry, Mark - 'The Simian Curve'
Hardback: 224 pages (Nov. 2006) Publisher: Robert Hale Ltd ISBN: 0709082134

When a little girl gets stuck between two garage blocks on a rundown estate, the fire service is called in. To rescue her, the fire officers have to demolish part of one garage and inside they discover a preserved but headless body.

The garage owner is a Thomas Tranmore, reported missing a few months ago. As well as the flat he also owned a big house around the corner. Tranmore was a scientist at a pharmaceutical development company and had previously worked at the MoD.

The homicide team assigned to the case is headed by DCI Diane Cresson and comprises mainly DS Mike Arnett and DC Claire Quant. Because of Tranmore's MoD connection, politics slow down the investigation. In fact the team hasn't got a lot to go on. The dead man had no job, was divorced and only one friend has come forward. His house was devoid of everything and only a few hairs provide enough DNA for the dead man to be identified with.

Running concurrent with Cresson's investigation is the progress of German arms dealer Joseph Kirby who has come to the UK to deal with a mystery contact who will provide him with Government secrets.

THE SIMIAN CURVE is a pleasant read which keeps your interest. Towards the end, a particularly unexpected incident involving one of the team certainly engages the emotions. The main characters' personal lives are fleshed out and smaller mysteries like who is leaving messages on Arnett's mobile phone are answered by the end of the book.

Well written but not flashy, this is a nicely plotted, realistic feeling police procedural and I'd like to read more about Diane Cresson if there are further appearances, though I would appreciate it if the font could be a bit bigger!

Read another review of THE SIMIAN CURVE.

Karen Meek, England
April 2007

Karen blogs at Euro Crime.

More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 25/04/2009 22:42