As a first novel from Jean Harrod this has all the hallmarks of an author who is going to go places as a novelist. Fast moving and well written this is the first in a Diplomatic Crime Series, which if the books to follow in the series are anything like this one, will attract a firm a following of readers.
Set in Australia in Diplomatic circles, Jess Turner has the task of liaising with families when tragedy strikes their loved one while overseas. Jess has not long been a member of the British Consulate in Canberra when she is drawn into a case of brutal murder; that of British businesswoman Ellen Chambers; a woman who is at the top of her profession, no stranger to Australia and who is also involved in a multi-billion dollar deal between the British, Australians and Chinese to supply LNG to China.
As if the situation is not already complex enough, when Jess finally speaks with Ellen’s sister Susan, who is working as a reporter with the Echo newspaper, things become even more complicated as Susan appears to be terrified of going to the Police. When she had last seen her sister, Ellen warned her that she was under police surveillance and if anything happened to her, to ‘follow the money trail’.
Enter DI Tom Sangster, a man with problems of his own, a successful career in policing and an attitude that demands the best from everyone – a man who does not suffer fools and believes in getting the job done quickly and successfully.
When one brutal murder turns into three in rapid succession, all with links to Ellen Chambers, Sangster and Jess begin to believe there is far more at stake than a deal gone wrong. There also appears to be a psychopath on the loose, unpredictable and dangerous, who appears to know too much about Ellen Chambers.
Ellen’s Diary holds the key to what has happened but as Susan has it and can’t be found unless she wants to be, Jess and Sangster have to work together to try and find the killer before any more people are murdered..
Fast moving, riveting action with several storylines running in parallel backed by first-hand knowledge of diplomatic circles sets the scene for a wonderful crime series designed to entice, intrigue and entertain.