Sunday, May 30, 2010

HEAD SHOT by Quentin Jardine (2002)

Scottish DCC Bob Skinner is at a conference in Malaysia about to give a paper about drug trafficking when he receives a call that changes his plans. His American in-laws have been murdered in upstate New York. Driven by rage Skinner flies to the USA and muscles in on the investigation, that is soon co-opted by the FBI since his father-in-law had been a Senator with secrets on the side.

What appears at first to be a burglary gone awry soon becomes obviously a professional hit job with an axe to grind against members of the Democratic Party that traces back to a coterie of men who played Sunday football with then-President JFK. When others are killed in similar circumstances, Skinner quickly decides that this is a situation rife with dirty cops and agents and subsequently trusts no-one as he digs for the truth behind what lead to the untimely deaths of his kind in-laws.

There is a subplot back in Edinburgh involving married coppers and an extended Italian business clan that doesn't add anything to the story and could well enough be left out of HEAD SHOT and made into a novel on its own. I'll give Jardine one more try to get the plotting right.

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