this is the 185th in my series of forgotten or seldom read books
Crackdown by Val McDermid, 1995 Harper Collins UK mass market paperback – 3rd Kate Brannigan – mystery
I really like Val McDermid’s sense of humor, at least I have every time I’ve heard her speak on a panel at a con. I bought a couple of her Brannigan books some time ago but didn’t get to them right away. Later I wondered why I waited.
Kate Brannigan and her lover Richard are working for a car company doing an investigation of several dealers whom they suspect of running a financing scam. One of the cars Richard “bought” is stolen before it can be returned to the company but Richard finds the car a day or two later, with dealer plates on it. He takes off the dealer plates (what was he thinking?) and drives the car home, or tries to. He’s stopped in the “stolen car” and the cops find two kilos of crack in the trunk. Bad news. I didn’t find Richard to be a sympathetic character at all and so the only thing of interest for me was how Kate would find out who’d stolen the car and was carrying the drugs when Richard repo’d the ride.
This book was good, though I didn’t like it as much as the first in the series, nor as much as some of the author’s later standalone books. Still, McDermid is a fine writer, and any McDermid is better than none. She’s done better work since, both her Tony Hill series and stand alone novels.
I tried one of the Brannigan books but I agree with you – I didn’t like Richard. I like her standalone books the best, especially the great A PLACE OF EXECUTION.
Jeff, I like that one too, and I don’t read a lot of her books, though she’s a favorite of Barbara’s.
Val McDermid is terrific on BOUCHERCON panels. But her mysteries aren’t my cup of tea. I’ve read a couple and I doubt if I’ll read any more of her work.
I agree, her sense of humor makes seeing her on panels a treat.
My favorite was McDermid and Ian Rankin interviewing each other.
I saw Val McDermid’s PLACE OF EXECUTION as a television movie and thought it was terrific if a little far-fetched. But maybe not, human beings are capable of so many strange things. I’m not sure I’d like her books as they always seem (from reading reviews and such) to be gull of gloom and doom. Though you do mention her sense of humor….
The sense of humor,or is mostly in person, not so much in the books.
Have not read McDermid