SILVERMEADOW: A Kathy and Brock Mystery
Better than The Chalon Heads (2001) and almost as good as The Malcontenta (2000), Maitland's latest mystery to feature DCI David Brock and Det. Sgt. Kathy Kolla presents a complex and absorbing case focused on Silvermeadow, an enormous shopping mall near London where a volcano erupts hourly, complete with moving lights for flowing lava. Ordered to stake out the mall because a fugitive killer has been sighted there, Kathy and Brock soon find themselves investigating the murder of a teenage girl whose body has turned up in a trash compactor. Later they get involved in a gigantic robbery. Through the thorough, workmanlike interviews the pair conduct with a range of characters, the author highlights the tragedies in the lives of various police officers and civilians, revealing how complicated the seemingly ordinary can be. In particular, he carefully and lucidly explains (with a prophetic quotation from Émile Zola) how architects and engineers plan and execute the transformation of shopping and acquiring into entertainment and recreation. He concentrates on the effects of this transformation on the employees, merchants and customers, with insider details of building engineering and archeology. As usual, Kathy is the center of the resolution of all the crimes, while Brock acts as her supporting rescuer. Maitland fans surely will welcome this addition, with its fusion of commerce, detection and architecture, to his lively series. (Aug. 9)
FYI:Born in Scotland and raised in London, John Creasy Award nominee and Ned Kelly Prize winner Maitland now lives in Australia.