Detective Inspector Bill Slider, now an expectant father, matches wits with an escaped prisoner.
In the middle of his transfer from one prison to another, Trevor Bates slithers away from the cops. Using his renowned electronic skills to tap into precinct lines, he taunts DI Slider, who was paramount in his original capture. Slider barely has time to mutter “sod off.” He has the murder of disgraced eco-journalist Ed Stonax to solve. It’s only after several dead ends and one live red herring that he realizes that Bates may be behind the Stonax killing. The victim’s daughter Emily, also a journalist, offers to research possible connections—dishy DS Atherton is delighted to have her help—but Bates always seems a step ahead of them, perhaps with help from someone in the Home Office. More victims will mark the trail of the murderous escapee trail from Scotland to London and onward across Europe, culminating in a spectacular chase sequence.
This middling Harrod-Eagles novel (Dear Departed, 2004, etc.) features a major clue far too wispy to be overlooked so long. But romantics will be pleased that Atherton’s philandering is over and that Slider and his Joanna wed just in time to save their baby from illegitimacy.