cover image The Man with No Face

The Man with No Face

Peter Turnbull / Author St. Martin's Press $21.95 (224p) ISBN

While maintaining his usual intricate procedural plotting in this ninth in his choice series (after The Killing Floor, 1995), Turnbull intensifies the dark presence of its setting: Glasgow, Scotland's largest and most maligned city. Ronald Grenn served four years for the robbery and arson of a fancy antiques store, a job far beyond his small-time skills but for which he did the time and kept his mouth shut. Hours after his release, he's found with his face blown off in a fancy part of the city. Under the bed in his mother's council flat are newspaper clippings concerning the abduction, eight years earlier, of Ann Oakley, an Edinburgh woman. Although the 1,000,000 ransom was paid, Ann was never found and the case was never solved. The investigation into Grenn's murder links him to the owner of the antiques store, whose stock, paid for by insurance as destroyed, is now appearing in a steady trickle in other dealers' showrooms. As the men of Glasgow's P-division find themselves pursuing a present-day murder and its connections to two older crimes, officer Ray Sussock finds previous failures coming home to roost just as he's about to retire. Turnbull celebrates Glasgow every chance he gets and carefully integrates the city's past industrial strength, hidden architectural beauty and recent cultural rebirth into his no-nonsense narrative. His coppers might provide the legwork, but his beloved Glasgow gives this tale its spark. (Oct.)