Taut, swiftly paced thriller involving big money, big business and big government, a promising trifecta that Robotham (Shatter, 2009, etc.) works to good advantage.
Long retired from the Metropolitan Police and now widowed, Vincent Ruiz (last seen in Robotham’s Night Ferry) has seen enough of life to be world-weary—and now he’s got to see his daughter off into wedlock to a lawyer (“He votes Tory, but everybody does these days”) and, worse, buy a new suit in the bargain. Enter a femme fatale—or is she?—and a good clocking, in which Ruiz is relieved of his briefcase, containing rings and a comb that belonged to his late wife. But why? Ruiz theorizes that it’s a case of mistaken identity, but there’s something more to it than all that. Meanwhile, American journalist Luca Terracini is poking around in Baghdad, tracking the 18th bank robbery to strike that city in a few months, mostly relieving the vaults of American reconstruction funds in crisp green dollars. Generals, soldiers, guards, civil servants—no one seems to have the answers, though a judge speaks wisely when he says, “There is a war on, Luca. Perhaps you should ask the Americans where their money is going.” Well, their money, it seems, is winding up in London, where it most certainly should not be. Enter Ruiz again, indefatigable if easily bruised, and Robotham’s neatly constructed plot gathers speed and strength, an elaborate game of cat and mouse that involves some unusual suspects, and with explosions to boot.
About the only thing to fault Robotham for in this neat thriller is an unfortunate allusion to a Brad Pitt film best left unmentioned. That desperate slip aside, a satisfying confection, equally good for beach and airplane.