A series of grisly murders spells trouble for the orderly transfer of power in a pivotal British General Election.
Edgar Carlton and his twin Xavier are so rich, so handsome and so media-savvy that they’ve been dubbed the Golden Twins. Edgar, leader of the opposition in Parliament, is a shoo-in to be the next Prime Minister, with Xavier as his Foreign Secretary. But their royal road to coronation gets a rude jolt when someone begins carving up alumni of the 1984 Merrion Club, an exclusive Cambridge society. Now the brothers, once leading lights, are in imminent danger of both getting killed and, even worse, attracting the glare of publicity. This delicate case falls to bull-headed Inspector John Carlyle, whose repeated refusal to follow the police line and protect his undeserving fellow officers, duly documented in a series of gratuitous flashbacks, has made him an outlier distrusted by his boss, Supt. Carole Simpson, whose financier husband is in bed with the Golden Twins. True to form, Carlyle doesn’t exactly shine as a detective. But together with his sergeant, Joe Szyszkowski, he dutifully makes the rounds, asking obligatory questions, working his way up the greasy pole and increasingly getting stonewalled by practiced liars while he waits for inspiration to strike. At length it does, allowing an appropriately jaundiced conclusion.
Journalist/TV producer Craig lards his familiar tale of revenge served cold with enough expository detail for a primer on politics and enough personal background about his hero to insure that his debut mystery won’t be his last.