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THE CRIME TRADE by Simon Kernick Kirkus Star

THE CRIME TRADE

By Simon Kernick

Pub Date: May 23rd, 2005
ISBN: 0-312-34059-1
Publisher: Minotaur

The third from Kernick (The Murder Exchange, 2004, etc.) adds him to the company of the English police procedural elite.

When Operation Surgical Strike turns out a fiasco, Scotland Yard smells a homegrown rat. It’s a bitter time for the Serious Crime Group. The drug bust, meticulously planned, was supposed to net a toothsome catch of big-fish Colombian dealers. Instead, the yield is blood in buckets, a veteran officer dead and days of police-bashing by the media. Worst of all is the sour, unavoidable conclusion that some copper is bent. Now it’s the job of DI John Gallan and his colleagues to nail the enemy within. Early in the investigation a likely suspect emerges, a man many regard as a perfect fit for the collar. Abrasive, cocky independent DC “Stegs” Jenner is endlessly irritating to senior officers like DCS Noel Flanagan, who take the privileges of rank seriously. But Jenner is also very good at his job, and Gallan likes him for that. A crack undercover operative, he’s made a career out of treading where others fear to. Evidence mounts, and Jenner does little to counter its formidable weight. But if it quacks like a duck, does that invariably mean it is a duck?

Nothing fancy here, but the cast is strong, the plot solid and clearly Kernick knows that the angels and devils are both in the details.