Murderous thugs, heartless babes, bent cops, sex, sadism, buckets of blood: Kernick serves up a second sizzling London broil.
Not so long ago, Detective Sergeant John Gallan was Detective Inspector Gallan, his career on the upswing until the wrong punch thrown at a shrewd, manipulative creep resulted in a blotted copybook, a demotion, and a transfer. But John Gallan is a dedicated police officer wherever you put him. And now he’s got a lovely murder on his hands, the kind that rouses the bulldog in him, the kind that has savory connections to distasteful people like the deplorable Holtzes, a powerful, ruthless, hugely successful north London crime family clever enough to have passed 20 profitable years peddling drugs and killing 35 victims with nary a conviction. But Gallan has help in his single-minded pursuit of the Holtzes, though he doesn’t know it and wouldn’t welcome it if he did. Max Iversson, ex–army special forces, has his own reasons for a personal vendetta against the family: payback for a brutal sexual attack on his girlfriend and an unacceptable assault on his person. In the fullness of time, the two pursuits collide explosively.
Compulsively readable. As in his debut (The Business of Dying, 2003), Kernick does noir to a James M. Cain turn.