Pray for the Dying: A Bob Skinner Mystery by Quintin Jardine

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Pray for the Dying: A Bob Skinner Mystery by Quintin Jardine

Category: Crime
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: It's the twenty-third book in the series and delivers a very pacy, twisty plot - along with the answer to the question we were left with at the end of the last book. A good, engaging read.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 416 Date: June 2013
Publisher: Headline
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0755356980

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Chief Constable Bob Skinner is in a very difficult situation. His race to prevent a murder didn't quite work out and he's now outside the theatre where what he dreaded has happened. There's carnage outside too: the killers have shot two policemen, one fatally and Skinner himself is responsible for the death of one of the killers. The other was killed by a member of the Security Services, but he'll need to be quietly airbrushed out of the record. Before long Skinner finds himself having to take on a role which he has always said that he would never want. And that's besides investigating whether or not the victim was the intended target and who was behind the operation because it's obvious that this was a professional hit.

It's a year since Funeral Note, the twenty-second Bob Skinner book, left us with an unanswered question and when Pray for the Dying dropped onto my desk I couldn't wait to get started. Funeral Note impressed me with its use of numerous first person narrators, a device which I felt shouldn't have worked but which Quintin Jardine pulled off superbly. In Pray for the Dying we're back to a more traditional format, which is undoubtedly what works best with this plot.

If you haven't read Funeral Note it will take you some time to get into this story. It's not just that you'll miss out on a lot of the nuances - it's more like coming in halfway through a play. If you can follow what's going on it's probably not worth watching. You've got to hit the ground running too - there's little in the way of back story to allow you a gentle start. And once you're in there you're going to be mixing in some very up-market circles in terms of Scottish and UK government. On a personal level, Skinner's marriage is at an end - and in a very public way, but he doesn't seem exactly devastated.

The plot is twisty and very pacy. You'll regularly think that you have it all worked out, but the chances will be that you're wrong - I had just about everybody bar Skinner himself chalked in as the perpetrator and still managed to get it wrong. I wasn't quite as blown away by this book as I was with Funeral Note but that one would have been difficult to top or even match and this is still a very good read - particularly if you're keen to know the name of the victim.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy of the book to the Bookbag.

For more from Scotland - Glasgow this time - try Still Midnight by Denise Mina.

Quintin Jardine's Bob Skinner Novels in Chronological Order

Buy Pray for the Dying: A Bob Skinner Mystery by Quintin Jardine at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Pray for the Dying: A Bob Skinner Mystery by Quintin Jardine at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Pray for the Dying: A Bob Skinner Mystery by Quintin Jardine at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Pray for the Dying: A Bob Skinner Mystery by Quintin Jardine at Amazon.com.


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