A foiled robbery pits DCI Percy Peach (Merely Players, 2011, etc.) against a wolf in philanthropist’s clothing.
Locals in Brunton regard Oliver Ketley as a benefactor, little suspecting that his generous donations to a host of local charities are funded by a chain of drug and prostitution operations he runs with an iron fist. Eddie Barton feels the weight of that fist when he has the audacity to break into Thorley Grange and make off with a bagful of Mrs. Ketley’s jewelry. Even after Ketley’s bodyguards shoot Barton, leaving him wounded in the road, Barton won’t grass, no matter how hard Peach, eager to get some dirt on Ketley, presses the young thug. Soon enough, though, the Grange opens wide to the local constabulary when Ketley is found in his Bentley, shot through the head. And much as they’d love to pin this one on Ketley’s hit man, George French, Peach soon learns that there are just too many suspects for him to focus only on the most desirable. Ketley’s younger wife, Greta, certainly fits in the frame, as does her lover, Martin Price, a former member of Britain’s secret service. The field is so large that Peach and his bagman, DS Clyde Northcott, simply can’t handle the volume. So against department practice, Peach enlists the aid of his former sergeant and current wife, DS Lucy Peach.
Peach is a formidable opponent whose insight and persistence earn him top honors among British procedurals.