In this novel of espionage, mayhem, and murder, the beauty of the English countryside is being systematically littered with headless, handless corpses. While that’s going on, sinister forces are planning potentially horrific acts that could wreak havoc around the world. It falls to a government security agent and a municipal police inspector to overcome initial jurisdictional rivalries, solve the crimes, and thwart the evildoers.
Elaine is a highly trained and experienced Commander who is as lethal as she is lovely. Ian is a tested and proven policeman who is as confident as he is capable. When circumstances make it necessary for them to work together to unravel a series of killings, blackmail, and more, they each assemble formidable teams to help. The teams, however, frequently clash as the “spooks” and “cops” seem as distrustful of one another as they are of various suspects. It’s up to Elaine and Ian to make sure they coalesce, but are the spies really sharing all the information they have, and are the police being as candid as they could be?
Morrison is a writer skilled at delineation and detail. His keenly observed descriptions of behavioral as well as physical characteristics snap recognizable photographs of the many individuals involved—both the lead and supporting players. He presents a firm grasp of the intricacies of law enforcement, the media, and governmental agencies. Frequently, pace plays second fiddle to precision, and while the plot may not race to its dramatic conclusion, it certainly builds steadily in suspense. Readers who appreciate intellectual as well as emotional involvement are likely to enjoy the time they spend with this novel of international intrigue in the United Kingdom’s West Country.