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"[Bill James'] strangely compelling series offers its own ample rewards."―Mystery SceneFor years Panicking Ralph Ember and Mansel Shale have run profitable drugs empires in peaceful cooperation with each other, and ACC Iles will blind-eye their trade as long as it keeps violence off the streets. But this happy arrangement is threatened by foreign dealers moving in and offering not just drugs, but punters―exploited girls from Eastern Europe. And bloody gang warfare threatens as a scrabble for territory ensues.
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Bill James has been called "the Elmore Leonard of Britain's underworld" (Kirkus Reviews) and has been named a "Master of Crime" in a mystery roundup by the London Sunday Times, which said, "There is nothing else quite like this series of police procedurals. James is concerned with the dilemmas and difficulties of policing Britain's inner cities, and he addresses these in hard-edged narratives that leave readers gasping and flinching, praying the people in these stories never come to live in their streets." In addition to the Harpur and Iles series, James is the author of other mystery series and a book on Anthony Powell. He lives in Wales.From Publishers Weekly:
In British author James's darkly humorous 23rd police procedural featuring Asst. Chief Constable Desmond Iles and DCS Colin Harpur, a turf war between local thugs and the Albanian mafia over the drug trade leads to several murders and an intensification of the amiable cat-and-mouse game between Iles and Harpur—whose approach to ethical dilemmas is highly subjective—and sympathetic villains Mansel Shale and Ralph Ember. After ganglord Tirana is slain, Harpur's daughter's boyfriend becomes a suspect, adding a personal element to the inquiries, which naturally focus on his perennial adversaries. James's droll writing and well-hidden solutions will encourage newcomers to catch up on the previous books in the series. Those seeking a change of pace from more dour procedurals will find the time invested in this book amply rewarded. (Oct.)
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