A mordantly funny 22nd go-round for Harpur and Iles and London’s less-than-master criminals.
Assistant Chief Constable Desmond Iles and the man he can’t forgive for cuckolding him, Deputy Constable Colin Harpur, have the unenviable task of protecting Ian Ballion and his family from the gang he ratted on with the best intentions. Alas, the Met, under PC Piers Callic, has finked on the deal. Rather than merely aborting the ill-conceived “cash-in-transit” raid Ballion snitched on, they carted everyone off to gaol—except, of course, for Ian, who now faces the wrath of mob boss Melvane. So Ian and his wife, Eleanor, renamed Robert and Jane Templedon, and their kids are relocated. Only they don’t want to stay hidden. Ian has the outrageous idea that if he appeals to Melvane, the mobster will understand that he didn’t mean for his son to get caught. Eleanor, under the spell of the same notion, convinces Harpur to accompany her to Melvane’s while she intercedes for her husband. Then Ian takes it into his head to execute Callic and present his killing to Melvane as a peace offering. The Ballion kids, meanwhile, are repeating their new names so robotically that everyone knows something is fishy.
James (The Girl with the Long Back, 2004, etc.) has never been feistier or trickier. Fans of police noir, and the human comedy, will be well served.