Thursday Legends by Quintin Jardine

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Thursday Legends by Quintin Jardine

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Category: Crime
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: It's book ten in the Bob Skinner series and this one sees Andy Martin more to the forefront than Skinner. It's another good read although perhaps not the best of the series, but with a twist at the end which I didn't see coming.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 416 Date: March 2011
Publisher: Headline
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0755358670

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It's been sacrosanct for many years: on Thursday night Bob Skinner plays five-a-side football with a group of friends, known as the Thursday Legends. Then one of the ex-players is found brutally murdered. Alex Smith was the former head of special Branch and he made plenty of enemies in his long career and personally. Even his ex-wife didn't really seem to know a great deal about him - or even to have anything in the way of lingering affection. As the investigation moves on it looks more and more likely that one of the Legends is the murderer. Then another Legend is murdered and Skinner himself is attacked.

Skinner doesn't exactly take a back seat in this story - he'd be incapable of doing it, for one thing - but we do hear more of DS Andy Martin, one time partner of Skinner's daughter Alexis but now freeing himself of the last vestiges of the relationship. It's a mixed blessing as I don't quite warm to Martin - perhaps it's because I've read some of the later books, but I couldn't quite believe that the Head of CID could be that loose lipped ( no, I'm not going to explain - you'll know what I mean when you read the book) or that he could leave someone whom he could charge with murder to go their own way.

OK, I'm being picky because otherwise it's a good story and there's a twist at the end which I certainly didn't see coming: it wasn't that I had someone else chalked in as the murderer - I simply had no idea. Characterisation is good as ever and there's Jardine's trademark sense of location, both in Edinburgh itself and the surrounding area. My reservations certainly weren't substantial enough to prevent me from going and buying a download of the next book in the series as soon as I finished listening to Thursday Legends.

And speaking of downloads, 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 July 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.

All the books in the series could be read as standalones (they're mercifully free of spoilers), but you will get more out of them if you read them in chronological order as the Skinner family saga does play a major part in the stories. It's not normally something which appeals to me, but I'll confess to being hooked on the Skinner soap opera.

Quintin Jardine's Bob Skinner Novels in Chronological Order

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