Saturday, October 8, 2011

Chelsea Mansions-Barry Maitland

Chelsea Mansions

Barry Maitland

Minotaur, Oct 25 2011, $25.99

ISBN: 9780312600662

In London, septuagenarian Bostonian tourists, Widow Nancy Haynes and Widower Emerson Merkle attend the annual Chelsea Flower Show. However, their enjoyment ends when an apparently insane man hammers Emerson knocking him to the ground and then this crazy person throws Nancy in front of a bus. Scotland Yard’s Serious Crime Division investigates what is assumed to be a homicide committed by a lunatic.

Detective Chief Inspector David Brock and Detective Inspector Kathy Kolla are horrified by the violent act. Closed circuit cameras in the area fail to show the killer, which the cops assume means this was not a random murder but a planned assault needing help. The police round up the killer’s support team like Danny Yilnaz who drove the culprit from the homicide scene on his bike. None of them can describe their “client” and are shocked he committed a homicide; all of them are afraid they will be next. Near the Chelsea Mansions Hotel where the two Americans were staying, someone stabs to death wealthy Russian Mikhail Moszynski. Brock and Kolla assume the two murders are linked, but cannot find that connection.

The latest Brock and Kolla British police procedural (see Spider Trap and The Dark Mirror) is an engaging whodunit in which the cops struggle with the motives behind the murders. The story line is fast-paced but has too much on the peripheral going on from the Cold War hauntings to illegal financial and political dealings, etc. Still series fans will enjoy this entertaining case especially when the official inquiry is front and center.

Harriet Klausner

No comments: