SKINNER'S TRAIL by Quintin Jardine


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 The terrorists who menaced Edinburgh during Assistant Chief Constable Bob Skinner's first two cases (Skinner's Festival, 1995, etc.) are dormant, but his newest adventure takes a surprisingly international turn when Skinner follows the trail from slain druglord Terrible Tony Manson to Linda Plenderleith. Linda was Tony's favorite flavor until, Skinner theorizes on the spot at her death scene, her enormous husband Lennie was released from jail and made short work of them both. Now Lennie's trail leads to Spain, so that's where Skinner goes, together with his pathologist wife Sarah and their newborn son Jazz. But even before they've packed their bags, a new acquaintance asks Skinner, while he's down there, to look into an unrelated Spanish real-estate scam. Looks like Skinner will be mixing business with business, unless of course it turns out that the two matters--the murdered Edinburgh Godfather and the peseta-ante swindle hundreds of miles away--are somehow connected. Once in L'Escala, Skinner goes at the suspected cheats (and a renter who's imprudently propositioned Sarah) with an iron fist, and though it's never in much doubt who the guilty parties are--either in sunny Spain or back home--it's a pleasure seeing Skinner mete out condign justice. Not as electrifying as those first two cases--though even when he's dealing with mere criminals, Skinner still acts as much the licensed vigilante as Dirty Harry.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-312-14417-2
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1996


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