cover image The Tunnel Rats

The Tunnel Rats

Stephen Leather. Hodder & Stoughton, $9.99 (501pp) ISBN 978-0-340-68954-7

In Leather's latest American release, British Transport Police Sergeant Nick Wright gets territorial when the mutilated body of an American news photographer turns up in an abandoned railroad tunnel. He's resentful toward the Metropolitan police for getting involved, and likes it even less when the FBI joins the manhunt, but he hangs tenaciously to the case, despite being saddled with an alcoholic partner and a hatful of personal problems. When another body with identical mutilations is discovered in Bangkok, he begs permission to investigate that murder as well. By the time he discovers the connection between them, Wright is in over his head and too far in to back out. His only choice is to move deeper into danger, courting the vengeance of a spook from his past. Leather has a gift for making pages fly by as bodies pile up, tension builds and clues drop parsimoniously; effective, economical characterizations give the plot just enough depth to captivate readers without hampering the rapid-fire narrative.