St. Martin's, Dec 2001, 21.95, 192 pp.
In spite of properly casing the joint and doing everything in accordance with the break and enter handbook, George “Geordie” McCulloch selects the wrong apartment to burglarize. He enters the abode of Professor Roger Harvey only to find the occupant's corpse lying in bed. Doing the right thing, Geordie calls the police though being a Good Samaritan probably means the two-time loser will be doing time again.
On the surface, the professor seems to have no enemies. He lived for his work though he seemed to set aside plenty of time for the ladies. As the Crowley police dig deeper into the academic's life, they begin to find many secrets that the professor hid, one of which one must have led to his murder.
To this reviewer, a cleverly designed British procedural is always fun to read because of the comparisons with the American judicial system. In his debut, Iain McDowell provides sub-genre fans with a creative tale filled with legitimate red herrings that encourages the reader to guess who did it. Readers will remain on the look out for more novels from this new talent.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner