cover image Pray for the Dying

Pray for the Dying

Quintin Jardine. Headline (IPG, dist.), $26.95 (400p) ISBN 978-0-7553-5698-0

Jardine’s 23rd Bob Skinner mystery (after 2012’s Funeral Note) showcases the shrewd and personable Edinburgh cop at his relentless best. Four people have been shot and killed at a Glasgow charity concert: Antonia Field, the chief constable of Scotland’s largest police force; her two assassins; and one police officer. This high-profile case demands a quick resolution, and Skinner soon finds himself appointed acting chief constable. The confusion is profound. Was Field the intended target, or was Skinner’s wife, a high-level yet controversial politician? And why is MI5, the British intelligence agency, so interested? A host of determined and dedicated sergeants and inspectors fan out through the British Isles and discover that few suspects are what they appear to be. Skinner’s robust personality more than compensates for a number of runaway plot lines involving messy marriages, a crafty Ponzi scheme, and hostility and political scheming in Scotland’s various police departments. (Dec.)