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One Man and His Bomb


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About the Author

HRF KEATING is well versed in the worlds of crime, both fiction and non-fiction. He was the reviewer for The Times for fifteen years, as well as serving as chairman of the Crime Writers' Association and the Society of Authors, and, next only to Agatha Christie, he has been the longest-serving president of the Detection Club. Best known as the creator of Inspector Ghote of the Bombay Police, he has twice won the CWA Gold Dagger and in 1996 was awarded the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger. He lives in London with his wife, the actress Sheila Mitchell, who regularly reads his titles as audio books.


Detective Superintendent Harriet Martens (A Detective at Death's Door) receives a call from London informing her that one of her sons has been killed and his twin brother is in intensive care in a London hospital. The brothers, both police constables, had been victims of a bombing. A horrified Harriet shuts down and only revives when her boss, Assistant Chief Constable Andrew Brown, asks her to investigate the theft of a dangerous herbicide capable of wiping out vegetation as we know it. Keating clearly has a political position on violence but does not ruin his book's suspense by overstating it. Like fellow British crime writers Peter Turnbull and Graham Ison, Keating incorporates dimensional characters but devotes most of his creative energies to plotting. His latest will appeal to fans of British procedurals. Winner of the CWA Gold Dagger Award and the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger, Keating lives in London. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

'HRF Keating breathes new life into the classic detective story' Reginald Hill 'Go no further if you want to read classic British crime plots that update the Golden Age with a clever dose of modernity... Elegant, urbane' Maxim Jakubowski, Guardian

British veteran Keating's less than riveting sixth Det. Supt. Harriet Martens procedural (after 2005's A Detective at Death's Door) opens, literally, with a bang, but the plot remains tepid and the characters' mostly stoic response to personal tragedy feels bloodless. Martens and her husband are stunned when they learn that their twin sons, both constables for the Birchester police, have fallen victim to a terrorist's bomb-one is killed, the other is in critical condition. The super's boss, deciding that work will help her cope, gives Martens a sensitive solo assignment-to probe the theft of a genetically modified herbicide that could decimate Europe's agricultural crops. The fairly straightforward search for the thief will leave Keating's many fans hoping for a return to form in his next book. (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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