Like Divisional DI Ernest Hardcastle (Hardcastle’s Armistice, 2005), DCI Harry Brock and DS Dave Poole seem to specialize in catching villains who prey on London’s lowlifes.
Spotter Gould had scant time to savor his freedom before he was gunned down at the Stone Mill prison door minutes after his release. Bernie Pointer was just one day out of the pen when his body was found on a golf course on Hounslow Heath. Brock and Poole can’t decide if it’s just coincidence that two boys from the same cell block have been offed a day apart—especially when the guns that killed them are both found in a lock-up belonging to Darren Walters, who’s shacking up with Gould’s old lady. Pointer’s ex-boss, undertaker Wilfred Crow, is no saint either. A little pressure from the cops and he spills the beans about a racket run by Ramo Aniç, a Sarajevo thug with a long rap sheet who specializes in smuggling fellow Bosnians into England in ventilated coffins. When his latest cargo, Dr. Gavrilo Lemez, turns out to be in the business of doctoring books rather than patients, Brock and Poole—joined by DI Kate Ebdon, an Australian import—have a case on their hands with too many suspects, too many motives and way too many bad guys.
Brock (Light Fantastic, 2004, etc.) and his multicultural crew are thorough and methodical, although not as edgy as Ison thinks.