Manchester-based, kick-boxing PI Kate Brannigan takes on the hard men of European organised crime as she battles to recover a Monet in a case that stretches love and loyalty to the limits. Manchester-based private eye Kate Brannigan is not amused when thieves have the audacity to steal a Monet from a stately home where she's arranged security. She's even less thrilled when the hunt for the thieves drags her on a treacherous foray across Europe as she goes head to head with organized crime. And as if that isn't enough, a routine industrial case starts leaving a trail of bodies across the Northwest, giving Kate more problems than she can deal with. Cleaning up the mess in Clean Break forces Kate to confront harsh truths in her own life as she battles with a testing array of villains in a case that stretches love and loyalty to the limits.
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(178mm x 111mm x 23mm)
HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
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US Kirkus Review »
What does the theft of Lord Henry Naismith's prize Monet - the latest of a well-oiled series of art robberies from some of England's finest homes - have to do with a lethal spate of industrial extortion over at Kerrchem, Trevor Kerr's cleaning-chemical company? Nothing, really, except that Manchester p.i. Kate Brannigan, whose firm installed Henry's security system, is on both cases. Kate has surprisingly little trouble identifying the art thief, but her chase for bigger fry will lead her from Antwerp to Genoa to a histrionic drop-dead scene with her lover, rock journalist Richard Barclay. On the Kerrchem front, she'll taste first blood again - fingering a probable blackmailer early on - but the case will grind on for ages before she's finally able to figure out why the blackmailer didn't just threaten to adulterate shipments of KerrSter with caustic soda but felt moved to spike two especially nasty bottles with cyanide. Kate, whose first three books (Crack Down, 1994, etc.) showed a fine line in wisecracking without the depth McDermid wants to claim for her here, does yeoman work on the art thefts from beginning to end. The Kerrchem quagmire, though, is a mess even when she gets done mopping up. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Val McDermid
Val McDermid grew up in a Scottish mining community and then read English at Oxford. She was a journalist for sixteen years, spending the last three as Northern Bureau Chief of a national Sunday tabloid. She is now a full-time writer and lives in South Manchester.