Lewis, Jonathan - 'Into Dust'
Detective Chief Inspector Ned Bale witnesses a roadside bomb kill the Minister of Defence because he happened to be driving home from a day of watching buzzards in the countryside. He notices the flash of binoculars and realises that the bomber is still watching from the hills but no-one sees the bomber leave or can work out who he was working for. He is given the case to investigate when the intelligence services decide that it is nothing to do with them, but finds that instead of helping they seem to be putting obstacles in his path, giving false information leading to wasted time and false ends.
His girlfriend, police dog handler Kate Baker, is not able to support him since she has volunteered for a secondment to Afghanistan, searching for roadside bombs with her trained sniffer dog. However, Ned quickly finds all roads lead to Afghanistan and finds that Kate is implicated in the murder. When Ned visits Afghanistan, to investigate the parts of the bomb that are linked there, he finds Kate and Jiffy respected by the soldiers whose lives they help to save every day. Kate has made friends amongst the local Afghans as well, something that is considered to be suspicious by the intelligence community. It becomes clear that the intelligence services have more to hide that they are willing to admit, and that they are prepared to do almost anything to protect their local sources of intelligence.
This is the second novel involving Ned and Kate. I enjoyed the first, INTO DARKNESS, and I greatly enjoyed this one as well. It gives a different perspective on the situation in Afghanistan, particularly one of ordinary people having to live their lives amongst the chaos, and also about the abuses of power and wealth and how power corrupts. The book reminded me a little bit of the great spy novels of Le Carre. The dirty tricks and the misinformation supplied by governments and intelligence services all over the world ring true.
Susan White, England