Lethal Intent (Bob Skinner Mysteries) by Quintin Jardine
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|Lethal Intent (Bob Skinner Mysteries) by Quintin Jardine|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: The 15th book in the series is a good police-procedural/thriller read. Don't read the Amazon blurb or a lot of the surprise element will be lost.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 464/12h49m||Date: May 2005|
|External links: Author's website|
Deputy Chief Constable Bob Skinner's private life is again the stuff of soap operas, with his wife, Dr Sarah Grace Skinner still in the USA, supposedly finalising her parents' estates, but not making much of a secret that she has doubts about her marriage. Skinner is getting rather too close to the attractive Justice Minister in the Scottish Parliament and it's difficult to see much future in the marriage when neither party seems committed to saving it. Other police families have tragedies in their lives as a sergeant's son is killed in a tragic accident on the slopes of Edinburgh Castle and Dan Pringle's daughter dies after being gassed in her student accommodation. The criminal underworld thrives too when the interests of MI5 and the Edinburgh CID collide when they unknowingly target the same people.
Part way through listening to this book I read the Amazon blurb and I spent quite some time comparing titles and wondering if I really was reading the same book: had someone made a mistake? Then, about four-fifths of the way through, the event which is featured in the blurb (I'm being deliberately coy here as I really don't want to spoil your enjoyment of the book) happened, but the book is more effective if you don't know what's going to occur and there's a genuine sense of shock and alarm. I hope there's a special place in hell reserved for those who give spoilers like this.
That aside, it's a good story. Policing has to continue no matter what private grief affects members of the police force and Quintin Jardine does a superb job of portraying the juggling act that goes on behind the scenes. He's also particularly good at the extension to that: when the chips are down, someone has to take responsibility and risk their own lives if necessary. Worse still, they might have to kill - an action which will stay with them for the rest of their lives. There's a thought-provoking depth to this story which stays with you long after you've finished reading.
I've been having problems with my vision, so rather than read the series I've been listening to audio downloads (which I've bought myself) narrated by James Bryce, who seems to have taken on the mammoth task of narrating all the Skinner books (that's twenty six as at August 2016) and turning a cast consisting mainly of middle-aged male Scots who would probably all sound pretty much the same in real life into individual personalities.
It was a good read and I enjoyed it. It would read as a standalone, but you will get a great deal more out of it if you've read the books in chronological order - there's a link to a list below.
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