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An inconvenient witness to a robbery gone wrong is hounded by a criminal who seems to hold all the cards.

Moments after, Daniel Fitch, who’d impersonated a plainclothes detective in order to persuade jewelry dealer Donaldson to admit him long after hours, bolts from Donaldson’s home-cum-shop. His plan in fatal disarray, he bumps into barrister Steven Drury in the car park outside. At first Drury, felled by Fitch’s cosh, is too pained and confused to perceive his assailant in the dark, but when Fitch gets into the car he’s pinched for his getaway, Drury sees him in the car’s overhead light. Worse luck to Drury, since Fitch very much doesn’t want his identification to hold up in court. In short order Drury gets a call from someone who threatens to cut out his tongue if he testifies; Fitch’s mistress Daisy Allen, a slag with a sense of humor, phones to try to track down Drury’s wife and asthmatic daughter, on holiday in Mallorca; and when all else fails, Fitch arranges for the kidnapping of Rose Stone, a random teenager, and tells Drury that he’ll be responsible for everything that happens to her if he identifies Fitch under oath. Since Rose is clearly doomed whether or not Drury testifies, there’s nothing he can do but sweat and fret while DI Carren and his squad beat the bushes searching for Rose.

Expertly managed suspense from a pro, even though several promising subplots are foreshortened, as if Ashford (Jigsaw Guilt, 2009, etc.) needed to fit his tale into an hour-long TV segment.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-7278-6935-7
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Severn House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2010


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