In this fourth book in the police procedural series by Barry Maitland, Scotland Yard's Detective Sergeant Kathy Kolla and Detective Chief Inspector David Brock investigate seemingly unrelated cases centered in the glittering Silvermeadow shopping mall. Fans of the series will enjoy narrator Angele Masters' superb characterizations - her Kathy has an expressive, frank voice, which contrasts well with Brock's more reserved, stoic manner of speaking.
Masters also keeps up the energy and pace of the story as the two detectives try to puzzle out the connection between an amphetamine-addicted criminal and a body found in the mall's trash compactor area. As he winds up the suspense, fans will be tempted into finishing the entire audiobook in one sitting.
When his longtime nemesis, the amphetamine-juiced killer known as "Upper" North, is spotted in England, Detective Chief Inspector Brock is on the trail. His manhunt centers on Silvermeadow, a huge and glittery new shopping mall on the outskirts of London, where North was seen. Lying in wait, he and Kathy Kolla take on a seemingly unrelated case as camouflage, that of a missing girl who had worked in the mall. But what to make of the rumor of other girls gone missing?
Coming up against dead ends, Kathy sets off to follow some leads of her own - and finds out that going solo can be very dangerous.
©2000, 2011 Barry Maitland (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
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I first learned of this mystery series when I was in the UK, from a fellow mystery lover who works in a bookstore. I wanted something with a good plot and with characters that are three dimensional, not just stereotypes - characters that one can come to care about. This series was recommended to me I have been hooked ever since!
If you like mysteries set in London and the surrounding areas, with characters that have a bit of complexity but are not too heady, and if you care about realistic dialogue and good suspense, you might enjoy this series. The books are sort of like Jacqueline Winspear (I can't think of who else to compare them too right now), but not set in the past and perhaps a bit less sentimental and more emphasis on twists and turns of the plot - I'd also say the characters Maitland writes are a bit more complex. Part of the interest in this series is the bond between Brock and Kolla.
The wonderful narration captures class accents without being caricatured.
I didn't give the book five stars because the theme of critiquing shopping malls was a bit heavy handed, and because this isn't "great literature," but it's such a pleasurable read and the plot and characters and narration kept me eager to listen more.
I hope others will find and enjoy these books and that perhaps we will get more of Brock and Kolla in the future....
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