November 27, 2012, 448 pages
Back for his eighth appearance is Detective Superintendent Roy Grace and as usual, he has his hands full.
First, he is called to a chicken farm where the mutilated body of a man is found. Well, part of a body, since the arms and legs and head are missing. Was this some sort of mob hit, or a crazy serial killer..or what? They will have to identify the body first, which is easier said than done with no head or hands, and pressure is on from above to get it solved quickly.
As if that were not enough to handle, Grace is put in charge of another situation as well. The famous singer, pop star and actress...think Madonna-like...Gaia Lafayette is coming to Grace's Brighton, England to film a movie role on location and he is put in charge of security. This could be a huge boost to local tourism, so it is very important that everything goes smoothly and the filming gets good press. But to make it worse, it seems that someone..or as it turns out maybe more than one someone...is out to do Gaia and her young son harm and Grace will be at the very center of the race to catch a very troubled fan before it all comes to a very horrible end.
As I said, this is the eight book in the series. But it is only the second that I read and let me assure you that jumping in will not be a problem, at all. Grace is a great character and while he is dealing with some interesting personal issues in this book, more than enough background will be given to get us up to speed and involved in his story. And I must say, perhaps set up one of the storylines for the next book with a bit of a cliffhanger involving someone from his past who may be getting ready to make a surprise reappearance.
The plot is quite good, with lots of twists and turns and a few surprise revelations that will keep you guessing until the very end of the book. There are several threads that at first seem unrelated but will slowly all come together...perhaps just testing the lengths of believability a tiny bit. Happily though not enough to be too troubling or unrealistic.
A good solid British police procedural that will give the reader hours of enjoyment and I think tempt you to join the line waiting for the next installment to see how a few things play out.
My thanks to the publisher and Amazon Vine for providing a copy of this book for review.