BAIT by Nick Brownlee


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Bodies pile up in east Kenya.

Harry Philliskirk and Jake Moore, English ex-pats settled in Mombasa and running a losing proposition, Britannia Fishing Tours Ltd., need $17,000 to keep the Yellowfin afloat. While Harry is pummeled into accepting a cargo of illicit hash, Jake, a former member of Scotland Yard’s Flying Squad, becomes enmeshed in the evisceration of another fishing-boat operator, Dennis Bentley. Hooks have barely been baited before the mysterious Whitestone, hopping from Amsterdam to Paris to Rome and beyond, sets in motion more murders—some low on the food chain, some higher up—for perceived infractions of loyalty. DI Daniel Jouma, of Coast Province CID, begins an investigation, but when it becomes obvious that members of his department are being paid off, he turns to Jake for backup. Also on hand is New York lawyer Martha Bentley, staying at the posh Marlin Bay Hotel while trying to avenge her dad. The trio quickly runs up against a local crime boss, the owner of a crocodile park, and even Martha’s bond-trader boyfriend.

Journalist Brownlee’s debut features extravagantly macabre death sequences, a smattering of Kenyan political and social issues and a detective duo that suggests Bruce Willis paired with Maigret. A sequel is in the works.

Pub Date: July 7th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-312-55021-9
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Dunne/Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2009