cover image Grievous Angel

Grievous Angel

Quintin Jardine. Headline (IPG, dist.), $24.95 (410p) ISBN 978-0-7553-5692-8

Set in the mid-1990s, Jardine’s hard-hitting 21st Bob Skinner mystery (after 2010’s A Rush of Blood) fills in some of the Scottish chief constable’s backstory. Skinner has just been promoted to detective superintendent when he takes over an inquiry into the death of Marlon Watson, who was dropped more than once, based on the injuries to the body, into an empty swimming pool. Watson’s brother, Ryan, was previously murdered, probably by a criminal unfortunately named Holmes. As Skinner gathers a team, many of whom will be with him for years to come, he must also deal with the loneliness of being a single parent and juggle complicated relationships with two women, Det. Insp. Alison Higgins, a subordinate, and disk jockey Mia Sparkles, who happens to be the victims’ sister. Newcomers may find the long stretches about Skinner’s personal life a yawn, though longtime fans will relish the revelations about his childhood and the way he met series regulars like Mario McGuire and Andy Martin. (Dec.)