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by Linda Barnes
St Martin's Minotaur, August 2008
304 pages
ISBN: 0312332890

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

I had mixed feelings about HEART OF THE WORLD, the previous book in this series, as it moved Boston PI Carlotta Carlyle way outside of her comfort zone physically, mentally and geographically – and it seemed a bit forced for all of that. If you haven't read that book, LIE DOWN WITH THE DEVIL won't make a lot of sense.

Two of the plot strands from HEART OF THE WORLD demand to be tied up in the new book. Carlotta's lover Sam Gianelli has legged it abroad to avoid being arrested. And the more she tries to find out what he was involved with, the less she likes it.

And then Roz, the lodger that anyone with an ounce of commonsense would have evicted years ago, lumbers Carlotta with a client. OK, so Carlotta's a PI, but she's not investigating much at the moment, apart from what her runaway lover and his Mob family have been up to.

Jessie Franklin shouldn't cause her too my hassle, though. She's about to get married, and wants Carlotta to check that her fiancé is being faithful to her. It sounds like a routine job – until Jessie ends up dead.

Meanwhile, though, Carlotta's 'little sister' Paolina is still recovering from the traumas of her time in Colombia in the previous book, and is refusing to see Carlotta.

LIE DOWN WITH THE DEVIL is the 12th outing for Linda Barnes's taxi driving PI, and it's back to what she does best. The familiar faces, such as Mooney and Gloria are back, and the book juggles a thoroughly engaging plot line with character progression and Carlotta's personal life.

I felt vaguely dissatisfied when the book shifted to Mooney's point of view in the middle, as I was so engrossed in what Carlotta was doing – but it became apparent later on just why Barnes chose to do this.

I liked Barnes's resolution, but it will depend where you stand on Carlotta and her private life. Let's just say I believed it, and cheered loudly.

Reviewed by Sharon Wheeler, September 2008

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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