Camden Town DI Christy Kennedy (A Pleasure To Do Death With You, 2012, etc.), who’s had to wait in the shadows while his creator launched two other franchise heroes, returns to solve the case of the exotic dancer killed outside the foreign embassy.
As her flatmate, Klowie Kim, tells Kennedy, Gabriella Byrne was both more and less than a dancer. Less, because she never slept with any of the patrons, not even when she and her pal Angela Convery formed a unique partnership as the Buddy Holly Sisters to entertain gentlemen clients in their own homes; more, because once a brief and disillusioning relationship with porn director Sean Moyola persuaded her that she had serious filmmaking chops of her own, she launched a partnership with her boss, dance-club owner Benjamin McKnight, and an unnamed third party to make a series of on-demand videos whose viewership would finance her first feature. Those dreams came to an end when Gabby was run down by a Mercedes-Benz that had just dropped her off outside the Gomorrahian Embassy. A hit-and-run? Not ruddy likely, sniffs eyewitness Harry Kavanagh, who recorded the whole incident on his iPhone instead of making a move to help Gabby when the Mercedes struck her, backed up, then struck her twice more. Who would have hated beautiful, charming Gabby enough to run over her three times? The discovery of the death car quickly leads to a suspect—good-time party boy Tor Sheeran—who just happens to be the son of the Gomorrahian ambassador, a cold fish of a diplomat whose claims of extra-British sovereignty and diplomatic immunity would send even mild-mannered Christy around the bend if he weren’t discovering a new romance in the person of actress Nealey Dean, nee Harriet Webb.
Well-crafted, sensitive, literate, sharply observed, a wee bit predictable, but still deeply enjoyable.