cover image A Rush of Blood

A Rush of Blood

Quintin Jardine, Headline (IPG, dist.), $24.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-7553-2918-2

Soap opera threatens to trump police procedure in Jardine's 20th mystery featuring Bob Skinner, now Scotland's chief constable (after 2009's superior Fatal Last Words). When entrepreneur and thug Tomas Zaliukas turns up on a frozen hill outside Edinburgh, the top of his head blown off and a sawn-off shotgun in his right hand, Skinner and his team investigate to rule out foul play. In the first of many coincidences, Zaliukas's widow, Regine, whose decampment to France might have led the dead man to kill himself, places Skinner's daughter, Alexis, a newly made partner in her law firm, in charge of Zaliukas's companies, which include a string of massage parlors. Meanwhile, professional thieves are targeting golf courses. The merger of the disparate plot lines may strike some readers as forced, and newcomers will find the byzantine backstories of Skinner's underlings and their personal relationships heavy slogging. (Dec.)