cover image Dark Objects

Dark Objects

Simon Toyne. Morrow, $27.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-06-232979-0

British author Toyne, who has produced some offbeat thrillers (the Sanctus trilogy), may have found his true calling with this excellent police procedural. Det. Chief Insp. Tannahill Khan of the North London Murder Squad investigates when a wealthy woman is stabbed to death in her home and her husband can’t be found. The body is staged with several mysterious objects placed around it, including the book How to Process a Murder by Laughton Rees. That Laughton is the daughter of Metropolitan Police Commissioner John Rees immediately adds an unwanted complication to Tannahill’s inquiry. As it becomes evident that the killer’s actions are directed in part toward Laughton, Tannahill brings her into the case as a consultant, not only to provide fresh insight but also to protect her from a deranged murderer who may be connected to her own painful past. Tannahill and Laughton make a superb investigative team, and how Tannahill deals with the prejudice he encounters (“When I was growing up I was called all sorts—Paki, camel jockey, raghead. My dad was Pakistani, you see, Irish mum but I got his skin and hair”) helps illuminate his character. A skilled storyteller, Toyne has upped his game with this one. Agent: Alice Saunders, Soho Agency. (July)