cover image Clean Break: A Kate Brannigan Mystery

Clean Break: A Kate Brannigan Mystery

Val McDermid. Scribner Book Company, $20 (288pp) ISBN 978-0-684-80461-3

Fast-talking, kick-boxing Kate Brannigan, a PI in Manchester, England, returns (after Crack Down) in a cleanly written, fast-paced escapade. Cut from the same cloth as Kinsey Milhone, though somewhat less of a loner and possessed of a more demanding palate, Kate is just as likely to be seized by a case and just as regretful when violence comes to pass. This tale jumps out of the gate at top speed when perfectionist Kate discovers that a security system she developed for a local castle has been breached and a valuable Monet stolen. Ingeniously tracking the thieves to Italy, she winds up taking on some world-class bad guys. At the same time, she is involved in a case of suspected industrial sabotage that has turned deadly. Juggling her clients, facing physical danger and coping with the continually bruised ego of her lover, Richard, Kate must navigate her way through power plays, unsavory associations and divided loyalties. A neatly arrived at conclusion leaves Kate and readers reckoning that success may not always be worth its price. (Oct.)