cover image Death in a Far Country

Death in a Far Country

Sheila Macgill-Callahan, Sheila Macgill Callahan. St. Martin's Press, $17.95 (184pp) ISBN 978-0-312-09892-6

Although the recent financial troubles of Lloyds of London somewhat interfere with the premise of this caper, Shakespeare ( A Question of Risk ) nevertheless weaves a pleasingly intricate web of deception and coincidence that is resolved in a suitably frenzied conclusion. An EPA investigation of the Santhill chemical company's waste disposal practices in the Mojave desert precipitates a spot of fraud. Lawyer Zack Webbern initiates a phony piece of reinsurance that puts Lloyds in the position of having to pay out $25 million. The nuances of reinsurance are tricky, but tracing the duplicitous machinations proves good fun as the Lloyds investigator works in tandem with the beautiful niece of an important Lloyds investor. The author has too many extraneous characters in the casts on both sides of the Atlantic and her American dialogue sometimes jars, yet her pacing is just right. Now, if only the real-life Lloyds were as fiscally reliable as this tale requires. (Oct.)