When a veteran detective is shot while on special assignment, uncovering the truth involves layers of deceit and secrets that might be best left unrevealed.
Shortly after establishing the Operational Command Unit, which looks into crimes perpetrated by the rich, DS George Quinn has been shot and lies in a coma. It falls to DI Blake Reynolds to figure out what happened and perhaps continue Quinn’s work. His assignment appears to be nearly impossible, both because Quinn, a star homicide detective, had carte blanche within the department to keep his investigation under wraps and because Quinn’s personal assistant, Victoria Clifford, is equally secretive. Even after Reynolds’ suspicions about Victoria are confirmed by a meeting at Scotland Yard, he finds himself attracted by her crisp efficiency. Martin’s thriller unfolds as a study of class and character. Quinn, who is gay, lives in London’s posh Mayfair district; Reynolds is from something like the wrong side of the tracks. The cat-and-mouse game between the two adversaries, whose perspectives are explored in alternating chapters, adds an extra dimension to Reynolds’ dogged probe long before he unearths the investigation Quinn had been working on: a complex case involving two uber-wealthy families, the eponymous jewel, and the grand dames of each clan who lay claim to it.
Full of memorable character portraits and incisive observations on wealth and social class, this stylish departure by the author of the long-running Jim Stringer series (Night Train to Jamalpur, 2014, etc.) is full of droll humor.