"I don't need the competition, but honesty demands I confess - this is a great thriller."
There's plenty to enjoy in Guttridge's latest procedural starring Chief Constable Robert Watts of the Brighton police. Good words, well used. Clipped, incisive prose. And it's fun to meet a type banished too long from crime fiction, literate bad guys, such as a brutal killer quoting The Rubaiyat and providing a translation. Michael Caine's film career is discussed. Not to be outdone, a copper displays familiarity with E. M. Forster. But the plot is a problem. About an especially nasty gang of Eastern Europeans invading a crime lord's turf, it moves forward in a series of tableaus, nearly each dazzling in itself but seemingly only very tenuously connected to the others. It's partly a point-of-view problem. With all the cops, killers, victims, and relatives, who's telling the story? Readers familiar with this second-in-a-series' predecessor, City of Dreadful Night (2010), may find it easier to get their bearings, but those new to it may feel stranded, wondering what trunk murder and train robbery everybody is talking about. --Booklist, May 1, 2011