H.R. F. Keating
St. Martin's, Dec, 2002 23.95, 251 pp.
Barbara “Bubbles” Xingara is the media darling of the tennis world and is expected to win at Wimbledon, but she never gets the chance because somebody murders her on her own estate. Detective Superintendent Harriet Martens is known in the media as The Hard Detective because of her tough stance on criminals and because she never gives up until she catches the perpetrator she is after.
The Leven Vale police chief specifically requests that Harriet is assigned as the lead in the case. When she arrives on the crime scene she meets Detective Inspector Anselm Brent and immediately falls into lust. Harriet fights her feelings for the man while she is working on the case with him. This turns into a difficult scenario even for as gifted a person as The Hard Detective.
The use of the first person narrative allows the reader to feel the protagonist's emotions and this leads to readers empathizing with her struggle to be faithful to her husband. The who-done-it is solved by good old-fashioned police work but the heart of this tale lies with the internal battle Harriet wages to do what is right.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner