An octogenarian investigates his granddaughter-in-law’s unfortunate accident while caring for her two girls.
Luke Grant, who’s spent most of his long life photographing far-flung places and having sex with local ladies, irrespective of age, appearance and martial status, never expected to take charge of two high-spirited great-grandchildren. But his grandson Henry was killed in an aircraft accident shortly after his second daughter’s birth, and Henry’s overbearing wife Emily now lies in New Royal Hospital in Edinburgh, run down by a driver who was either very clumsy or very annoyed. It’s up to Luke to figure out which. DI Fellowes, the local detective, can’t muster enough manpower to question most of the folks who had received the rough side of Emily Highsmith’s tongue—which is just about everyone in Birchgrove. The girls adjust well enough, cleaning up after themselves and playing energetically with Pepper, Luke’s retriever. The only problem is Violet’s budding relationship with her classmate Roddy McWilliam, which Luke fears will lead to you-know-what, though the two have barely exchanged a peck on the cheek. But Luke, who can’t be content in his new role until he learns who hurt Emily, noses about, leaving nine-year-old Jane and 16-year-old Violet intermittently in the care of Helena Harper, who shares his passion for geriatric amours.
Anyone who thinks 81-year-olds are more interested in sex than teenagers deserves this preposterous potboiler from normally reliable Hammond (Waking Partners, 2007, etc.).