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Grievous Angel: A Bob Skinner Mystery    by Quintin Jardine order for
Grievous Angel
by Quintin Jardine
Order:  USA  Can
Headline, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, Softcover, Audio, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Fans of Quintin Jardine's long-running Bob Skinner series set in Edinburgh will appreciate the return to his earlier years in Grievous Angel. He introduces the story as 'A memoir, and a confession, by Robert Morgan Skinner, chief constable.'

He talks of his childhood as 'a damaged, troubled, introverted boy' who met and was changed for the better by Myra Graham as their 'souls bonded'. Now his third wife Aileen, another soulmate, encourages Skinner to write his memoirs 'for therapeutic reasons'. This recollection begins fifteen years in the past when Skinner was ruthless and hot-tempered but essentially a decent man and a skilled policeman. He had lived with his teen daughter Alexis for almost a decade after Myra's death, and was in a casual relationship with a junior colleague, DI Alison Higgins.

About to assume command of the Serious Crimes Unit, Skinner is called to the scene of the murder of Marlon Watson, driver for crime boss Tony Manson. The victim's brother had shot Perry Holmes, 'a man of many business interests, some straight, others criminal on a national scale' years before and left him a paraplegic. Was this a revenge killing? The investigation leads Skinner to the victim's sister Mia Watson, who has reinvented herself, after a rough childhood, as a popular and successful deejay. A relationship develops between them.

There are further deaths as the investigation progresses, and Skinner and Alison dig deep before finding links to another vicious crime. As always Quintin Jardine delivers a thorough police procedural on several fronts, with enough organizational shenanigans for those who enjoy them, a developing love triangle, and engaging interactions between Skinner and his teen daughter Alexis. Grievous Angel is not to be missed by Skinner fans.

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