A cold case has ties to a murder for hire and a possible terrorist attack in Wensley’s (Text: Murder, 2011, etc.) latest thriller featuring DI Carpenter and DS Kaminska.
The U.K. Special Branch Police have already arrested Ilse Chemnitz’s killer, but they’re still looking for Dragor, the Serbian gangster who ordered the hit. The National Criminal Intelligence Service sends Colour Sgt. Marco Richmond to investigate Dragor’s connection to a military site bombing in Kent, England, and he discovers a DNA match that links the Serbian to the body of a Jane Doe found dead several years earlier, thought to be Dragor’s daughter. In the course of the murder investigation, the police suspect that the British royal family may be in terrorists’ cross hairs. This novel, like the first in the series, has elements of a murder mystery—the killer’s identity isn’t revealed until the end—but doesn’t spend much time on the investigation itself. Carpenter and Kaminska work the murder case, but Xian, the forensics tech, contributes the most useful information: Her DNA testing reopens the cold case and ultimately solves it. But Carpenter’s and Kaminska’s scenes, even when they have little to do with the overall mystery, are indelible; a chase sequence after Kaminska recognizes a Polish fugitive, for example, is exhilarating. He also includes subtle hints of a developing romance. Still, the book’s shining moments are those that combine different characters’ story arcs: Carpenter and Dragor, for example, call a temporary truce so that the policeman can ask the gangster questions about his daughter. In another exciting scene, police try to protect the royal family during the 2012 London Olympics. Overall, the novel is a quick, easy read, and the author keeps the ending open for the final book in the planned trilogy.
Although Carpenter and Kaminska may not be the finest detectives, they’re easy to fall in love with, and readers will likely want more of their adventures.