DCI Harry Brock (All Quiet on Arrival, 2010, etc.) must skip his plum pudding when DS Don Keegan calls about a body found in a Jaguar XJ parked at Heathrow on Christmas morning.
Once Brock gets to Heathrow, the investigation moves like clockwork. His sergeant, Dave Poole, identifies the deceased as Kerry Hammond, owner of Kerry Trucking in Chiswick. Death kept her from flying to New York for a holiday rendezvous with her husband, realtor Nicholas Hammond. Kerry’s parents admit that their daughter turned into something of a good-time girl after the death of her first husband, Dick Lucas. Her cell phone log includes the number of nightclub owner Miguel Rodriguez, who admits having a fling with Kerry. So do Kerry’s secretary, Bryce Marlow, and Gary Dixon, a trucker whom Kerry’s manager Bernard Bligh sacked for bootlegging. When DS Tom Challis discovers a secret compartment in the Scania Dixon used to drive, Brock calls his old friend Henri Deshayes of the Police Judiciaire in Paris to put a tail on the Scania when new driver Bill Sharpe makes his next run to Marseille. Sharpe leads them to a warehouse in Cantard Street where workers offload the contraband. Even a warning from British Counter-Terrorism to go easy on Nick Hammond barely makes a dent in Brock and Hammond’s investigation, as they march in lockstep connecting the dots to the inevitable arrest of Kerry’s murderer.
Like a Christmas present from your granny, Ison’s latest is nicely wrapped but with no surprises.