The Home Secretary Will See You Now

Graham Ison, Author St. Martin's Press $15.95 (221p) ISBN 978-0-312-04329-2
This run-of-the-mill police procedural by a British ex-personal protection officer delivers an inside look at the guarding of British government officials and the complex workings of Scotland Yard's Special Branch. Otherwise, Ison ( Confirm or Deny ) fails to accomplish much in the way of suspense, characterization or mystery. Detective chief superintendent John Gaffney is assigned the politically sensitive case of the murder of the wife of the British home secretary. An actress before her marriage, Elizabeth Lavery had had a number of affairs--her lovers range from an underworld villain to a peer of the realm. Under intense pressure from his superiors, the press and the home secretary, Gaffney doggedly sniffs out a drug-smuggling scheme, finds a KGB agent's killer and, in a climax that won't surprise anyone, finally cops the culprit. There's too much starch in Ison's collar; his non-British characters are stereotypes (foul-mouthed Americans, lazy Spaniards), his stiff-upper-lip British characters are stock and his cockney ones, caricatures. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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