There’s something awfully familiar about the investigation DCI Peach and DS Blake (Remains to be Seen, 2007, etc.) conduct into the violent death of a successful businessman.
Tim Hayes, whose little electronics firm serves as a front for a host of shadier enterprises, is a right bastard. His partner Matthew Ballack hates him for using gambling debts as an excuse for demoting him to supervising brothels. His personal assistant Clare Thompson hates him for abruptly ending their affair, and her carrot-topped husband Jason hates him for starting it in the first place. Croupier Jane Martin hates him for slipping Rohypnol into her drink and raping her. Hayes’s chief frightener, Leroy Moore, hates him for what he did to Jane. Hayes’s wife Tamsin hates him for who is, what he does and, above all, the disdainful way he treats her. So when someone blows Hayes’s brains out after Hayes Electronics’ annual party, the confraternity of hatred provides DCI Percy Peach, DS Lucy Blake and DC Clyde Northcott a wealth of suspects to grill. Barely distracted by his upcoming wedding to Lucy, Peach interviews and reinterviews each until one by one they drop their guilty secrets to unmask a killer.
To say that Peach’s latest outing apes Gregson’s last tale about DCS John Lambert and DS Bert Hook (A Good Walk Spoiled, 2008) is an insult to our fellow primates. The author should sue himself for plagiarism.