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by Quintin Jardine
Headline, May 2008
384 pages
$19.99 GPB
ISBN: 0755329120

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

It's hard to keep things fresh in a series that has run as long as this one. I think AFTERSHOCK is #18. Jardine manages by shifting personnel from one job to another and from one spouse to another. All the usual characters are there, just in unfamiliar jobs.

Maggie Rose is on leave, just having given birth to a daughter, being diagnosed with uterine cancer, and losing her husband. Maggie's ex-, Mario McGuire, is living with his distant cousin Paula. DCC Skinner himself is now with the first minister of Scotland, Aileen de Marco. His second wife, the pathologist, has returned to the US and the children are visiting for the summer.

In the previous book, some women were killed and laid out in a specific manner. Two of the women were artists. The man who confessed to the killings is dead, apparently by his own hand. But before he went, he set a booby-trap and Stevie Steele, Maggie's husband, was caught in the blast and killed. Now, Jack McGurk finds the body of a young woman just off a local golf course, displayed in a similar way. And she is an art student. It appears to be a copy cat killing...or did they pin the earlier murders on the wrong man?

After having read most of the books in the series, I still find it disconcerting that all of the people from Skinner's squad are now high ranking police officials in charge of their own units, but Skinner still calls on them as if they were his to command. I guess they are, since they do as he asks. I also think that Skinner hasn't aged as he should have. He's still short of 50 in this one, and talking about a third marriage. Some people never learn.

I enjoy this series, despite my carping. The characters have become old friends and the Scottish laws differ enough from the British ones to make one have to think a bit about the situations.

Reviewed by Barbara Franchi, March 2008

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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