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by Quintin Jardine
Headline, April 2002
436 pages
ISBN: 0747263876

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

After finishing the last book in the long-running series about Scottish DCC Bob Skinner and his crew and family, I wrote a note to myself that perhaps it was time to stop reading these books since they were getting too similar to each other. Of course I forgot to look at my notes, and ended up buying the next two books in the series.

AUTOGRAPHS IN THE RAIN opens with Skinner ans a gorgeous movie star at Oxford Circus reminiscing, when a car roars down the street, takes a shot at the couple, and speeds off down Regent Street. Skinner sends his companion home in a cab and calls the police who don't believe anyone shot at him, since they cannot find any evidence.

Meanwhile, back at headquarters in Edinburgh, another high ranking policeman is trying to usurp Skinner's position. He sneaks around looking at people's mail and is generally disliked by Skinner's crew. In fact, a senior officer in London has written to ask the Chief Constable to investigate Skinner's sanity, and the new ACC ops, Ted Chase, has opened the letter, and is trying to figure out how to use this against him.

Louise Bankier,the movie star Skinner was having dinner with in London has returned to Edinburgh to shoot a film. Bob and Lou had been a number in secondary school, but Bob's now been married twice and thinks of Louise Bankier as an old friend.

There's been a shakeup in the ranks since the end of the last book and in this one, the group of mid-level polie officers who normally work with Skinner are settling in to their new situations. It is determined that the sniper was after Louise, not Bob, and so she is placed in a safe house under police protection while shooting the film for which she returned to Scotland. Ruth McConnell, the secretary shared by Skinner and Chase goes to visit her uncle one weekend, but when she gets to his home, DC Sammy Pye, who she had been dating, finds the uncle dead in the bath, and there is a case of fishnapping from a trout farm on the borders.

All of these cases are , of course, brought to a satisfactory conclusion, but in this book more than in the previous ones in the series, we find that the private lives of the usual suspects plays more of a part in the story than in the previous 10 books in the series.

Reviewed by Barbara Franchi, December 2002

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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