Barry Maitland was born in Scotland and moved to Australia to become Professor of Architecture at the University of Newcastle. Maitland's The Marx Sisters was nominated for the John Creasey Award for Best First Novel and The Malcontenta won the Ned Kelly Award for Best Crime Fiction. No Trace is his eighth Brock and Kolla mystery.
In Maitland's gripping new police procedural to feature DCI David Brock and Det. Sgt. Kathy Kolla (after 2004's The Verge Practice), something evil afflicts a group of artists and assorted hangers-on who live in London's Northcote Square. When six-year-old Tracey Rudd, the daughter of the circle's most famous artist, Gabriel Rudd, goes missing, it appears she's the third girl to fall victim to a kidnapper. Soon two of the three girls are found, one dead and the other nearly so. As various members of this community are killed in horrible ways, Brock and Kolla dig through an intricate web of circumstances, which some readers may find too complex. Maitland, an architect who crafts his prose in accord with the dictum that God is in the details, brings the particular world he depicts unforgettably alive. No one who reads this haunting, unnerving work will ever again think about contemporary artists the same way. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
"'Reading any other crime books, especially by someone as good as Maitland, would be too much of a distraction!' John Harvey"
Six-year-old Tracey Rudd is taken from her bedroom at night, the third child to be abducted in London in recent weeks. But her case may be different: Tracey's father is a famous artist who spends more time working than raising his daughter. The body count rises; the Special Operations Team led by Detective Chief Inspector David Brock (Babel) faces demands for a quick solution, while Rudd exploits his daughter's kidnapping for his next show. All of this escalating tension results in life-changing actions and decisions for both Brock and his Sergeant Kathy Kolla. In what may be his best book yet, Maitland starkly contrasts the modern art worldview of life as art/art as life with the police attitude that life is not a game. Fans of British police procedurals by such authors as Jill McGown, Stuart MacBride, and Quentin Jardine will demand this. Highly recommended for all collections. Maitland lives in Newcastle, Australia. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Three young girls have disappeared—the police think that the first two cases are almost definitely linked, but what of the third missing girl, the daughter of a publicity-seeking artist? Set among the art world in the recently and uneasily gentrified East End of London, Maitland’s eighth Brock and Kolla novel combines a page-turning plot with well-drawn characters. An extra bonus for the reader is Maitland’s use of the police-procedural framework for a deft examination of some of the philosophical complexities and moral quandaries posed by contemporary art. Add to that enough final-chapter twists and turns to keep the reader genuinely guessing until the last moment (and perhaps even beyond) and you have an unusually satisfying crime thriller. The cover blurb’s comparison to Barbara Vine/Ruth Rendell is spot-on: this is a very English-style book from an Australian author—the kind of tale that deserves to end up as a Friday-night miniseries on the ABC. If you and your crime-reading customers haven’t caught on to Maitland yet, this would be a good place to start—while the characters of Brock and Kolla are well established, the banter between them in this book serves as an incentive to go back and read their earlier cases. Tim Coronel is AB&P’s assistant editor C. 2004 Thorpe-Bowker and contributors