Saturday, August 16, 2008

Payback-Clare Curzon

Clare Curzon
Dunne, Oct 2008 $24.95
ISBN 9780312375317

The biker deliberately hits Warren Laing in front of the auction house run by Charles Hennigan. The chief auctioneer visits the severely injured and fully bandaged comatose victim at the hospital and informs the police that he is his employee porter Sandy Craddock. Meanwhile the real Sandy learning of the identity mistake believes he was the intended victim so he pretends to be his half-brother Warren.

Craddock moves into Laing’s luxurious flat figuring he is safe for now and can live off of his half brother’s affluence. However, things spin further out of control when Fiona Morgan enters Laing’s bed where Craddock sleeps. Fiona invites him to join her at an art course where she is the nude model even as she wonders why he seems to not care that his sibling lies in a coma; she still mourns her sister who died last year in an accident. Things turn even nastier when his art class partner Rosa Burford is murdered. When Rosa fails to show up for class, Thames Valley police led by Superintendent Mike Yeadings investigate.

This may be the best police procedural in this excellent long running series as the story line starts off seemingly to scatter in a zillion directions, but Mike Yeadings and his Thames Valley squad manage to methodically bring it into focus. Readers will appreciate this strong entry as the Superintendent is more laid back than usual while his staff works the missing person’s case that keeps spinning into something new with each revelation.

Harriet Klausner