cover image Two Way Cut

Two Way Cut

Peter Turnbull / Author St. Martin's Press $14.95 (174p) ISBN

This deftly written procedural realistically captures the life of modern Glasgow and the men who keep law and order there. A young cop on the beat finds a body laid out, with the head hacked off and neatly left on the chest of the torso. No clues to the victim's identity are available, but several peculiar aspects of the crime cause the detectives of Glasgow's P Division to conclude that some sort of ritual murder has occurred. For one thing, the victim was washed and dressed in new clothes after death and moved to the spot where he was found. Dogged police work reveals that the dead man is Samuel Lurinski, an accountant with a blameless past. The investigation into why and how he was killed leads Detective-Inspector Donoghue and his men to a fashionable nightspot and its rather unsavory owner, a woman dying of AIDS, the city's Chinese community, and a series of arson cases dating back over several years. The ending takes a satisfyingly unusual turn. Turnbull ( The Claws of the Gryphon ) writes realistically and without sentiment about his cops, interesting the reader in their lives without glamorizing them. In the well-filled ranks of procedurals this is a superior specimen. ( October )