ALARM CALL by Quintin Jardine


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Oz Blackstone’s eighth case (Unnatural Justice, 2004, etc.) plucks the actor from his soaring screen career, his third wife and two children, and their posh estate in Scotland.

Why would anyone leave the good life to go chasing off to America? Oz’s lachrymose ex-wife Primavera is seeking to reclaim her son and fortune from con artist Paul Wallinger, who slithered out of her life with both in tow. When support from his network of friends helps the actor/sleuth trace Paul to the United States, he and Prim jet to Minneapolis to visit Paul’s family. Though they mine some valuable nuggets, it’s clear that Paul is constantly one step ahead of them. It’s a particularly disagreeable surprise when Paul sends e-mails and photos to Blackstone’s wife Susie that suggest the sexy exes are sharing a bed. The former couple do share hotel rooms and adventures in Vancouver, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas as they struggle to track down the wily Wallinger. Meanwhile, Oz’s personal life swiftly unravels when Susie becomes convinced he’s cheating. Can he stay faithful to Susie as he and Prim delve into their troubled romantic past? By the end, Oz will conclude he’s been blind as the truth finally emerges from the morass of deception.

Blackstone shows new depth this time, using brains rather than brawn to solve the puzzle in this altogether more nuanced thriller.

Pub Date: April 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-7553-2102-2
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Headline
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2005


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