cover image Soft Summer Blood: A Detective Inspector McLusky Novel

Soft Summer Blood: A Detective Inspector McLusky Novel

Peter Helton. Severn, $28.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8577-7

It’s never business as usual for Liam McLusky, as shown by Helton’s complex fourth outing for the Bristol, England, detective inspector (after 2014’s A Good Way to Go). McLusky investigates the murder of an elderly man who was content to ignore much of the 21st century, particularly its technology. The case appears straightforward until a second murder changes the picture. Meanwhile, Det. Sgt. Jack Sorbie and other officers get reluctantly involved in the thankless task of searching for an Italian official’s daughter who has disappeared from her known haunts. Through it all, McLusky barrels his way through, ignoring some of the rules and skating thinly over others. In addition, he worries about passing his upcoming mandated physical fitness exam. He’s not the sort of copper to take well to an environment in which the talking heads from the social sciences overrule the search for criminals. Alas, a key character first appears late in the story. Readers trying to solve the case before McLusky may feel cheated. (Apr.)