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A Harpur and Iles Mystery, No 26
Bill James

Countryman's Press
May 2011/ ISBN 9780881509502

Reviewed by Barbara Buhrer

The two rival criminal enterprises have operated side by side for a number of years. The drug lords, Ralph Ember and Mansel Shale have eliminated any upstarts who had the effrontery to try to invade their territory. They reign supreme in peaceful coexistence. Or so it seems.

Assistant Chief Constable Desmond Iles has tolerated them because he felt that the alternative would be worse. Detective Chief Superintendent Colin Harpur has been hearing rumors that the two drug lords are restless and are wishing for complete control. Each wants to create a monoply.

The two detectives are drawn into the conflict and must act to find peace or violence will spill into the streets.

This is a riveting thriller mystery. It is always a rewarding experience to observe the interaction between Harpur and Iles. They are complex characters: friendly rivals and adversaries who nevertheless work together to achieve their goals. The supporting characters are well developed and display human conflicts and feelings. James writes with brevity, humor and elegance.

Reviewer's Note:
Reviewed 2011
© 2011