Would you recognize a bomb if you saw one?
DI Liam McLusky’s first day with Bristol CID starts badly. He wrecks a police car trying to settle a domestic squabble, earning the enmity of Supt. Denkhaus. Then he’s given the unenviable task of sorting out who exploded a bomb under a park bench. Was it a one-off prank by kids? Unfortunately, other bombs follow, encased in everyday objects like a lady’s compact, a can of lager, a pen, a champagne bottle and a chocolate Easter egg. These innocent-looking objects maim and kill the unwary citizens who pick them up. McLusky’s car is targeted, too, ending his genial but tepid romance with a barmaid. While he plods on with the bombings, his station mates, who like him go a tad beyond legal niceties, manage to seize the mastermind and several of the underlings behind a spate of robberies with violence. Their success with the bomber is less complete. Even once they finally succeed in running him to the ground, there’s no way of telling how many of his deadly emissaries are left to waylay the citizens of Bristol.
Helton (Rainstone Fall, 2008, etc.) provides a solid police procedural and an engrossing introduction to DI McLusky to boot.