Thursday, April 2, 2009

Review: THE KILLING HANDS by P. D. Martin

FBI profiler Sophie Anderson has settled into her job in Los Angeles. She has established a name for herself and made contacts. Her latest case is something new to her. It looks as though the victim has had his throat ripped out but exactly how is a mystery. The man is identified as a member of the infamous Yakuza who has been presumed dead these past fifteen years.
Sophie finds herself working with a new set of people: a task force consisting of a number of law enforcement agencies who specialise in gang-related crime. But it is believed that there is an informer within the task force so Sophie has to tread very carefully. This latest case will not only pose a threat to Sophie’s life, but it will pit her against one of the most ruthless and calculated killers she has encountered.

THE KILLING HANDS doesn’t quite have the pace and suspense of P.D. Martin’s previous books. Because Sophie is working with a gang task-force, it is necessary for the author to give the reader an overview of the structure and remit of the various agencies that investigate gang-related crime in L.A. This does slow down the plot a little. However, Martin’s usual thorough research and attention to detail do make for informative reading.

In THE KILLING HANDS we meet Sophie’s parents who visit her and there is an interesting development in her private life as well. But we will have to wait for the next book to discover where that will take her. By doing this Martin has deftly avoided one of the biggest pitfalls of a series; a character who never moves on from where they started in book one.
P.D. Martin has become one of my favourite Australian crime fiction writers and THE KILLING HANDS has done nothing to change my opinion.

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