Bannister’s fanciful fifth mystery featuring former security analyst Gabriel Ash and Constable Hazel Best (after 2017’s Other Countries) finds Ash, who was invalided out of the British intelligence service due to a nervous breakdown, running a newly opened bookshop in Norbold, England. Since he doesn’t need the money, he’s not concerned about attracting customers. He soon has something important to worry about when his two young sons are involved in a kidnapping attempt outside their school. Fortunately, Hazel is on hand to save the day. She investigates and discovers a connection between the kidnappers and a murder case 17 years previously. The friendship between the two leads develops at a snail’s pace in each successive book. Will they? Won’t they? Should they? The strongest supporting character is Patience, a dog with whom Ash holds long conversations. Ash thinks these exchanges may be a residual effect from the posttraumatic stress he suffered. Patience—to whose thoughts the reader is privy—considers this interpretation hogwash. This is a book for lovers of high-class soap opera and intelligent canines. Agent: Jane Gregory, Gregory & Co. (U.K.). (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/30/2018 Release date: 09/01/2018 Genre: Fiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.