This latest book by Barry Maitland is extremely well crafted, written and plotted, with many surprising twists upon the way. The shifting between characters and locations is excellently handled.It is a great page turner you anxiously want to find out what happens next . The depiction of characters is splendid and there are some great landscape descriptions.
Barry Maitland grew up in London and went on to work as an architect and urban designer in the UK. In 1984 he moved to Australia as Professor of Architecture at the University of Newcastle. The Marx Sisters, the first in his London-based Brock and Kolla crime novels, was published in 1994 and 12 more have followed. In addition he has published four crime novels set in Australia. Barry’s novels have been published throughout the English-speaking world and in translation in various other countries.
In his latest book of the series featuring Detective Chief Inspector David Brock, we enter the exclusive high stakes world of fine art – when the Russian wife of the owner of one of the most valuable private collections of modern art in the UK is found dead, and follow Brock as he uncovers forgery, murder and fraud in an international market .Brock was given the job by higher ups as allocated by the Assistant Commissioner . Nadya Babington was spectacularly beautiful, but outwardly seemingly rather cold, having escaped and divorced her first husband, Sergei Semenov, in Russia .She had just received threatening emails from Russia. Julian Babington, her husband is a major corporate lawyer. And then there is Nadya’s troubled son Miki . Brock visits dealers and galleries in London’s West end as well as Hanover, Bremen, Miami and New York with his new colleague Molly Fitzherbert from the Art and Antiques department .He also follows up tracing his own painting by Kurt Schwitters that he was gifted previously – is it real or fake ? Was Julian coercively controlling Nadya ?
There are many complicated and unexpected revelations .We learn about forgery in the high art world and conservation but also dual identities and major corruption. As well we meet the vicar (the Rev. Alwyn Bramley-Scott) of an ancient church that Nadya was linked to, and ponder if she was having an affair with one of Miki’s friends, Callum McAdam – who is a sensational copyist of famous art works (is he linked to the corruption? Why are he and Nadya so interested in the old church?) We also meet Egor Orlov (a top restaurant owner) and Pavel Gorshkov as well as Rosa Lipmann, gallery owner and various members of Brock’s and Kolla’s teams .Throughout the book there is also interwoven Brock’s relationship with has de facto wife Suzanne and her grandchildren.
Simultaneously Brock’s old colleague Detective Chief Inspector Kathy Kolla, now leading one of the Metropolitan Police Murder Investigation teams, finds herself accused of corruption by another police officer. With her entire career threatened, Kolla will do almost anything to clear her name.Was Kolla’s upmarket home in London a gift based on the proceeds of illegal shenanigans by her now dead ex Martin Connell? Or? Eventually all is cleared up .At one point both Brock and Kolla are suspended from duties , but there are many revelations and dramatic plot turns along the way .
A captivating, multi layered book.
Category:Crime & Mystery
Publisher:Allen & Unwin
Imprint:Allen & Unwin
Pub Date:November 2021
Format:Paperback – C format
Subject:Thriller / suspense