cover image Breaking Faith

Breaking Faith

Jo Bannister. Minotaur Books, $24.95 (256pp) ISBN 978-0-312-34301-9

In British author Bannister's absorbing fifth mystery to feature Brodie Farrell (after 2004's The Depths of Solitude), the scrappy sleuth helps Jared Fry, a petulant rock star, find a home for himself and his coterie-an ancient, former hotel known as ""The Diligence,"" which is suitably sized for parties of gothic dimensions, and is also secluded enough to keep Fry's private life out of the public eye. Brodie is set to deposit her hefty finder's fee and celebrate, but the accidental discovery of a long-dead body of a young woman on the property is too much for the drug-addled Fry and his charismatic manager, Eric Chandos, to handle on their own. As Brodie finds herself further entangled with the irresistible Chandos (much to the detriment of her relationship with Det. Supt. Jack Deacon, the gruff local police chief), and her shy, nerdy best pal, Daniel Hood, develops an unlikely friendship with Fry, the newcomers' connection to the recently exhumed victim begins to seem less innocent than originally assumed. This pleasing page-turner has a titillating but restrained mix of sexy situations, mild violence and plot twists that satisfy without ever becoming gratuitous or excessive.