Chief Superintendent Lambert and Sgt. Bert Hook (Die Happy, 2011, etc.) investigate the death of a National Trust curator.
Living at Westbourne Park suits Dennis Cooper down to the ground. He loves being in charge of the gardeners, like young Jim Hartley, whose qualifications for such a prestigious horticultural post were a little thin, but who’s proved himself a steady, dependable fellow. He also loves supervising the restaurant, where hundreds of tourists enjoy top-notch meals every day under the direction of Hugo Wilkinson, despite the head chef’s tendency to fly off the handle and hurl racial epithets at the busboys. And directing the volunteers is enjoyable, even though sharp-tongued spinster Lorna Green does have a regrettable habit of correcting him in public. He even likes mentoring young interns like Alex Fraser, who finds Westbourne a lifeline out of the hardscrabble world of Glasgow. Too bad Cooper’s wife, Alison, sees life at Westbourne as so dull and isolated that she’s moved to take up an affair with shady Peter Nayland. Is that illicit affair the reason Cooper turns up dead in a pond at Westbourne’s outer edge? Or is there another grudge, real or imagined, that prompts someone to put paid to Cooper’s country idyll?
Once again, Lambert and Hook tread ground already better trod by DCI Percy Peach in Gregson’s alternative, slightly edgier series.