Thursday, March 9, 2017

“Another Good Killing” by Stephen Puleston

Following his usual routine, a banker drives into a parking garage near his office. But he doesn’t make it out of his car. Someone stabs him with a stiletto.

And then an associate of the banker, who’d been involved with him on several deals, is found dead in his apartment building elevator. He’s been killed in exactly the same way.

Notes left with both bodies suggest they were killed because bankers get rewarded while the people suffer. At least two activist groups have been agitating about bankers and banking reform.

Detective Inspector (DI) John Marco of the South Wales Police isn’t entirely convinced that the activists and protestors are to blame. The first victim’s family isn’t exactly free from motives. And so Marco, assisted by Detective Sergeant (DS) Lydia Flint, has to examine whether the motive is familial greed, extreme activism, or possibly something else.

Another Good Killing is Stephen Puleston’s second DI John Marco police mysteries, and it’s a winner of a story. Puleston combines a topical theme (anger against bankers), the psychology of protest groups, and DI Drake’s ongoing political and personal battles to create a highly satisfying police procedural story. (Puleston has also written three DI Ian Drake of the North Wales Police stories.)

Stephen Puleston
And DI Marco has some personal battles. He’s a recovering alcoholic. He’s divorced and his former wife has remarried, but the son they share has a serious accident that lands him in surgery and the intensive care ward. He starts a relationship with an employee in the coroner’s unit, but he discovers that he may be compromising the integrity of his case.

And then there’s a third murder. And a kidnapping that hits a bit too close.

Another Good Killing will keep you guessing (and biting your nails) until the end, but it’s perhaps the best detective story Puleston has yet written – and he’s written some good ones.


Photograph of the Welsh flag by Bob Williams via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.

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