Original Skin

David Mark. Penguin/Blue Rider, $26.95 (448p) ISBN 978-0-399-15865-0
Sophisticated plotting, in-depth characters, and sharp dialogue elevate British author Mark’s gritty second police procedural featuring Yorkshire Det. Sgt. Aector McAvoy (after 2012’s The Dark Winter). In the port city of Hull, a former industrial center on the decline, Det. Supt. Trish Pharaoh and her detectives look into the escalating attacks on Vietnamese cannabis farmers by brutal rival gangs. Meanwhile, McAvoy is distracted by the year-old apparent suicide of Simon Appleyard, a gay man who had been frequenting sex parties with his self-loathing best friend, Suzie Devlin. McAvoy believes that Suzie may be a murderer’s next target, and her unique tattoos are a clue. Mark expertly brings together the two seemingly unrelated investigations while weaving in McAvoy’s devotion to his young family and sensitivity to the Roma background of his wife, Roison, whose extended family becomes involved in his inquiries. Fans of John Harvey and Peter James will find much to like. Agent: Oliver Munson, A.M. Heath (U.K.) (May)
Reviewed on: 03/18/2013
Release date: 05/02/2013
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