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I have written a few reviews about Quintine Jardine's Bob Skinner detective series now, and this being book 8 in the series, I was beginning to wonder if I might get a bit bored with it all, but this book brought my enthusiasm back again.
Skinner is just regaining some stability in his life again. He has had a recent break up with his wife Sarah, and they are newly reconciliated. (Drat my local library for not stocking all the books, as there is no real reference to why they split up here, and it is bugging me not knowing why. ) As well as their baby son Jazz, they are now adoptive parents to a son, Mark. There is some reference here to his parents being killed and Bob somehow investigating it, and him then feeling responsible for the boy.
As well as all this resposibility in his family, Bob is also acting as Chief Constable because his boss James Proud has had some health difficulties and is on an enforced rest. So he is learning about a new job role that he eventually wants to take on, and trying to work out how to do it, and if he actually still wants that at all.
Life is also very difficult because there is a very nasty armed robbery gang targetting all the local banks, and it is proving very hard to catch the gang because they are organised with military precision. And, it doesn't help that a leading judge dies during a trial. A heart attack perhaps? Not when another prominent judge with financial links to the first then dies only a few days later in suspiscious circumstances.
I really enjoyed this 8th installment of the series as I was getting a sense of the frustration of the people involved and there was so many things happening, all of which were making me think about how the plot might progress. I've come to the conclusion I would be rubbish as a detective myself, as though I can solve TV crimes quite easily, this series has shown me that the red herring is there, and I can never fully work it out until the reveal at the end.
I also liked the fact it has been mostly set in Edinburgh this time, and you get more chance to think about the characters rather than the places they are moving between. It felt different to the other novels.
Jardine has impressed me once again, and no doubt I will be on the look out for other books by him to see if I can fill in some of the timeline of plot events that are tantalisingly referred to but never fleshed out. I am actually beginning to wonder if it is more deliberate than I first thought, as a way of getting you to read the whole series.