From Publishers Weekly
In Bannister's emotionally weighty seventh Brodie Farrell mystery (after 2006's Requiem for a Dealer
), Farrell panics when her unexpected pregnancy threatens the continued success of her business—Looking for Something?—an eclectic problem-solving agency in Dimmock, England. One of her paramours, mathematics teacher Daniel Hood, delays his return to the classroom to serve as her assistant and eventual caretaker of the company. When a former student happens by, Hood soon determines that the boy is being beaten at home and quickly identifies his father, affluent and powerful attorney Adam Selkirk, as the guilty party. The bulk of the plot centers on Hood's amateurish efforts to intervene in the dysfunctional Selkirk family and Farrell's conflicted attitude toward the men in her life. Readers will be most satisfied if they approach this as a novel that happens to involve a criminal investigation, an impression enhanced by Bannister's quiet prose style and emphasis on relationships. (Sept.)
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Bannister's latest Brodie Farrell mystery is chockablock with plots, subplots, and sub-subplots. But Bannister skilfully weaves the disparate story lines together and offers up an intriguing, thoroughly entertaining read. When Brodie discovers she's pregnant with the child of her former lover, Detective Superintendent Jack Deacon, she's shocked and overwhelmed. Brodie's friend, math teacher Daniel Hood, steps in to support Brodie, which he's more than willing to do since he's been secretly in love with her for years. Brodie's ex-lover Jack faces his own problems: Detective Inspector Alix Hyde from the Organized Crime Agency is sent in to bring down local Mob boss Terry Walsh. Nailing Walsh could be Alix's ticket to her much-desired promotion, and she doesn't care who she steps on (Jack), insults (Jack), or uses to get what she wants (Jack, again). But the most poignant subplot focuses on Daniel's discovery that one of his former students is being abused by his father, a high-powered London lawyer. A masterfully written story that is as provocative as it is engaging. Melton, Emily