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Chelsea Mansions: A Brock and Kolla Mystery (Brock and Kolla Mysteries) Hardcover – October 25, 2011
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About the Author
BARRY MAITLAND is the author of several novels featuring Brock and Kolla. His work has been a finalist for the Barry Award, the John Creasey Award, and the winner of the Ned Kelley Award. Born in Scotland and raised in London, Maitland lives in Australia.
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DCI Brock and DI Kathy Kolla were shocked by the brutality of the murder and vowed to Emerson and Nancy’s family back in the US that they would find her killer. But within a matter of days another murder occurred in the same vicinity – this one an important Russian official. Brock and Kathy wondered if the two were connected – but the difference in the two people was vast. Nancy was an elderly tourist with little money; the Russian extremely wealthy and well-known.
The investigation was deeply complex with many avenues to pursue. It also seemed to Kathy that there could be corruption within the higher ranks – but should she continue with her line of investigation? And what was happening with Brock? There was danger from all angles; and not just from the criminals who had no intention of being caught. They would stop at nothing…
Chelsea Mansions is the 11th in the Brock & Kolla series by Aussie author Barry Maitland and I haven’t read any of the others in the series. I hoped it wouldn’t matter; it didn’t! It is a gripping mystery with angles in every direction, which all came together nicely in the end. I’ll definitely be reading more in this series. Highly recommended.
Cunningham Place is a block of town houses that have been turned into a single house, owned by a Russian oligarch as his London base, as well as a hotel, the Chelsea Mansions. The hotel - small with only 7 rooms - is sort of an appealing dump manned by a dedicated, if somewhat quirky, staff. It gets by on its charm - both real and imagined - and its location, in Chelsea. Brock and Kolla - both with Scotland Yard's Serious Crime Unit - are called to the hotel to investigate the death of one of the guests, an American tourist, murdered in rather grisly fashion. From that murder crops another, that of the Russian oligarch living next door. To even attempt to explain the plot would be difficult; just know it involves spies, MI5 AND MI6, the concept of Occam's Razor, American and Canadian tourists, the Chelsea Flower Show, as well as soldiers in many of the military conflicts the UK has been involved in since WW2. Oh, and a deadly flu-like disease. And that's looking at the story in a fairly simple manner. But, Barry Maitland, having introduced these plot points and characters, does a superb job of tying everything together to make a great tale.
I've always figured Maitland as a writer's writer. He's rarely guilty of an unresolved plot line or an unexplained character. Everything flows together in a complicated, yet readable way. And "Chelsea Mansions" is another success.
And so begins this most interesting double-murder mystery. Be prepared for lots and lots of twists and turns along the way and one huge whopper of an ending. Highly recommended.