Evan Maitland, the world’s most violence-prone antiques dealer, finds more of the usual even in merry old England.
Whichever anonymous seller was willing to part with a Tarenton Hall chair that matched dislikable New York dealer Max Glendenning’s has pulled out of the deal. So Glendenning offers Maitland a fat commission to fly to London and kick-start negotiations with Alistair Lethbridge, the Kensington dentist who’d brokered the deal. Not surprisingly, Maitland’s reputation has preceded him, and he’s soon recognized. Convinced that he’s crossed the pond to interfere with their current business, disposing of $8 million in bearer bonds for the Chicago mobsters who stole them, the fearsome Shivers brothers, brutal Ian and mad-dog Ken, promptly frame him for killing an American Treasury agent whose search for the bonds ends at the grave. It’s a bad miscalculation, as anyone familiar with Maitland’s record (Maitland’s Reply, 2009, etc.) would recognize, and its aftershocks don’t end till 10 more people are dead, most of them killed by Maitland in a scenario that reads like The 39 Steps crossed, as the title suggests, with Get Carter.
The usual beautifully judged action sequences are spiced by some piquant fish-out-of-water situations. Even though it’s perfectly obvious where this high-speed, high-casualty adventure is going, readers who come along for the ride are promised a whale of a time.