cover image Flawed: A Brodie Farrell Mystery

Flawed: A Brodie Farrell Mystery

Jo Bannister, . . St. Martin?s Minotaur, $24.95 (335pp) ISBN 978-0-312-37566-9

In Bannister’s emotionally weighty seventh Brodie Farrell mystery (after 2006’s Requiem for a Dealer ), Farrell panics when her unexpected pregnancy threatens the continued success of her business—Looking for Something?—an eclectic problem-solving agency in Dimmock, England. One of her paramours, mathematics teacher Daniel Hood, delays his return to the classroom to serve as her assistant and eventual caretaker of the company. When a former student happens by, Hood soon determines that the boy is being beaten at home and quickly identifies his father, affluent and powerful attorney Adam Selkirk, as the guilty party. The bulk of the plot centers on Hood’s amateurish efforts to intervene in the dysfunctional Selkirk family and Farrell’s conflicted attitude toward the men in her life. Readers will be most satisfied if they approach this as a novel that happens to involve a criminal investigation, an impression enhanced by Bannister’s quiet prose style and emphasis on relationships. (Sept.)