The knife-wielding thief who’s added unexpected pizzazz to veterinarian Jane Highsmith’s wedding returns to sow further discord in the Scottish village of Newton Lauder.
Even on her way to marry author Roland Fox, Jane can’t say no to a boy whose puppy is mortally wounded. That’s why she’s on hand in her surgery, her borrowed wedding dress already dappled with the puppy’s blood, when a masked figure bursts in and demands money and drugs. Jane is so resourceful and unflappable, and so lucky, that she’s soon on her way, the dress the only real casualty. Moreover, her attempt to inject the robber with a sedative has left him with a microchip embedded in his torso, a development that yields a splendid line of dialogue from Jane to the robber—“If you really want to know, I can even tell you your number”—but offers sadly little help as a clue to his identification. So there’s nothing for DI Ian Fellowes but to examine all the hundreds of photographs wedding guests have snapped with their cellphones to find a dozen forgettable suspects who fit Jane’s description and may have needed money. Meanwhile, Knifeman has already been back at work, robbing a filling station and a jewelry shop, evidently without raising the slightest frisson of fear among the villagers. And no wonder, for no one will die; no one will be seriously injured; and no prizes will be awarded for guessing either the identity of Knifeman or the party who ends up bringing him to book.
Fans of Hammond (With My Little Eye, 2011, etc.) will find all the lightweight charm they expect. Those outside the charmed circle need not apply.