In the Absence of Iles (Harpur & Iles Mysteries)

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9780881508833: In the Absence of Iles (Harpur & Iles Mysteries)

The 25th installment of the acclaimed Harpur & Iles series by mystery master Bill James.

Assistant Chief Constable Desmond Iles’s absence from a police undercover conference sets the stage for the moral and practical dilemmas faced by one of his colleagues, ACC Esther Davidson, as she works to bring down the largest gang operating in her sector. The role of undercover agents―or “out-located” officers―is brought into sharp focus as James masterfully unfolds the story of Davidson’s decision to infiltrate the gang against the events of the resulting court case.

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About the Author:

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:

Asst. Chief Constable Esther Davidson takes center stage in James's thoughtful, somewhat dry 25th Harpur & Iles mystery (after 2009's Pix). Frustrated by the failure of an extensive investigation into the affairs of a criminal gang disguised as the legal Cormax Turton Guild, Davidson decides that the only way to get the goods is to infiltrate the organization by a process known as out-location. Such complex details as choosing a police officer to go undercover, maintaining contact, and keeping a rescue team on standby alternate with scenes from a trial involving the murder of a policeman who went undercover at Cormax Turton. Asst. Chief Constable Desmond Iles, who had his own unfortunate experience with out-location in Halo Parade, serves as observer, supporter, commentator. The ethical, legal, and practical considerations of out-location get both theoretical and actual treatment with the life-or-death outcome riding on the slimmest of chances. (Jan.)
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