cover image Skinner's Trail

Skinner's Trail

Quintin Jardine / Author Thomas Dunne Books $22.95 (0p) ISBN 9

He's Robert Skinner, a high ranking Edinburgh policeman. He's got a villa in Spain, two houses in Scotland, the world's best behaved newborn and the world's most resilient new mother, in her late 30s, for a wife. He's a crack shot and a tough-fisted guy with a crass, insensitive, sexist posture who is a distinctly unpleasant fictional creation. In Skinner's third appearance, after Skinner's Festival, a crime lord is murdered in Edinburgh, and a property swindle is uncovered in a Spanish resort town. Skinner gets to log some flying hours, shout at admiring subordinates, swear unnecessarily in mixed company and solve two cases that the author links by coincidence rather than design. Jardine's collection of villains is instantly forgettable. With the exception of the amazingly stalwart Ms. Skinner, most of the women in the book are odoriferous hookers or office underlings required to serve biscuits and coffee to Skinner and the other North Country Neanderthals he hangs out with. (May)