cover image A Dance of Ghosts

A Dance of Ghosts

Kevin Brooks. Arrow (IPG, dist.), $14.95 trade paper (416p) ISBN 978-0-09-955381-6

At the start of children’s author Brooks’s solid first adult novel, PI John Craine is sitting in a parked car videotaping Preston Elliot, who’s suspected of falsely claiming he severely injured his back at work, on a mean street in the dreary English town of Hey. When Elliot notices he’s being filmed, he goes over to Craine’s car and destroys the detective’s camcorder. Craine, a classic tortured soul, whose wife was brutally murdered in their bedroom 16 years earlier, soon finds himself in more trouble. Helen Gerrish, a bizarre and nervous woman, hires him to investigate the disappearance of her grown daughter, Anna, who the police believe scampered off on her own accord. Craine’s search for Anna takes him into Hey’s violent, drug-addled underground—and, eventually, into a confrontation with his own dark past. The plot meanders, but fans of contemporary British noir will be satisfied. (June)