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Book DetailsISBN: 9781760632670
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Book Review: Promised Land by Barry Maitland - Reviewed by CloggieA (17 Dec 2018)
“Brock taught me that sometimes we pursue a wrong idea because we simply can’t bear to dump all we’ve invested in it. He said a good detective knows when it has to be done.”
The Promised Land is the thirteenth book in the Brock and Kolla series by Scots-born Australian author, architect and urban design expert, Barry Maitland. A brutal murder at a Hampstead Heath pond is followed by one almost identical just days later. Newly-promoted DCI Kathy Kolla is under pressure to get results, especially as the second victim had some high-power connections. When a third, unidentified victim is discovered in the home of the owner of a moribund minor publisher, both MO and trace evidence link the man to the second killing, and Kathy Kolla is sure she has her murderer.
Mild-mannered Charles Pettigrew, steadfastly maintaining his innocence, seems an unlikely serial killer, and his barrister contacts now-retired ex-DCI David Brock for his opinion of the accused. She believes that Pettigrew dissociated under emotional stress and therefore has no memory of his crimes. But when he listens to Pettigrew’s story, a bizarre tale involving a never-published George Orwell manuscript, Brock’s not entirely convinced of the man’s guilt, and is unable to resist making further enquiries, albeit without the power of a DCI warrant card in his wallet.
This instalment of Brock and Kolla has a brilliant plot with plenty of twists, a few jaw-dropping surprises and some clever misdirection, both for Kathy Kolla and for the reader. Maitland’s characters are realistically flawed, adding to their appeal, and his main protagonists have integrity and intelligence. Several mentions are made of earlier cases, but the potential for spoilers is, even for first-time Brock and Kolla readers, unlikely to deter them from seeking out Maitland’s excellent backlist. Exceptional crime fiction. This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by Allen & Unwin.
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