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by Simon Kernick
St Martin's Minotaur, September 2006
336 pages
ISBN: 0312349955

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Three years previously, ex-vigilante copper DS Dennis Milne fled London after having killed three men, who were not the baddies he had been told to expect. He has spent much of the intervening time in the Philippines, with his ex-snitch, Tomboy Darke.

Milne now goes under the name of Mick Kane, having had some plastic surgery to change his appearance, and earns his living by killing bad guys . . . or guys he has been told are bad. Some people never learn. He also co-owns a hotel and occasionally acts as a driving instructor.

Mick is offered $300,000 to take Billy Warren for a ride and to make sure he doesn't come back. Warren is really Billy West, robber, gun runner and drug dealer. Les Pope, a lawyer in London, sends the money for Mick to take care of West. West had killed two people on Pope's order. One was a policeman, Det. Asif Malik, Milne's former partner.

Kane takes care of West and then flies to London to try to locate Pope, who ordered the hit on his friend.

The action is non-stop as Milne returns to his former haunts and searches for those who caused Malik's death. His surgery wasn't very extensive, and people who knew him before might recognize him now. However, Malik was innocent. He had been a good copper with the traditional values and he has left a widow and children. Milne had been a good copper also, but with his own sense of values, which did not always coincide with those of society as a whole.

Don't expect great characterizations, but if you like fast-moving action and a slightly skewed hero, then I would advise you to try A GOOD DAY TO DIE. After all, life isn't all black and white either.

Reviewed by Barbara Franchi, December 2006

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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