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by Barry Maitland
St Martin's Minotaur, September 2009
304 pages
ISBN: 0312384009

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Back at her own flat in London after fifteen months away, Kathy Kolla is having trouble amusing herself until it's time to take up her new post at Scotland Yard. Luckily, the phone rings and she is delighted that her boss, Chief Inspector Brock, wants her to start work early.

The case itself is not, however, an easy one. A young woman has been found mutilated and murdered and in short order, it transpires that her death is just one in a string of several which appear to have some connection to the theatre, specifically to an amateur theatre group in South London.

Kathy is determined to stay out of trouble this time around, but before long, she finds herself connected to the theatre group and possibly about to be personally touched by the killer as we learn something about her family history that might make her peculiarly vulnerable.

First published in the UK in 1996 and never before in the United States, ALL MY ENEMIES is a pivotal volume in the Brock/Kolla series. Its new availability will be welcomed by fans of the pair, both for what it adds to readers' understanding of the developing relationship between Brock and Kolla and for its own sake as an excellent example of the slightly off-beat take on the police procedural that is Maitland's specialty.

I have long been puzzled by the degree to which Maitland has been rather ignored in the United States. Certainly the series is far from conventional, with the two protagonists behaving not at all in the standard Morse/Lewis, Barnaby/Troy mode. And Maitland takes a lot of risks in the sense that he employs some of the more frequent crime fiction clichés. But what he does with them is something else altogether and very far from the ordinary. We should be grateful to Minotaur for bringing this book to the notice of American readers and hope that THE MALCONTENTA will not be far behind.

Reviewed by Yvonne Klein, September 2009

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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