McCoy, Ken - 'Loser'
Following on from his three earlier novels in this series featuring Sam Carew, the pace does not let up in this action packed new one either.
There are these five guys that play golf regularly together and as they also do the National Lottery they call themselves "The Syndicate". One of them, Alistair, is a lawyer and is the king-pin of the group but his badly beaten body is discovered accidentally at his house by Jim, another of the golfers, who arrives innocently following a telephone call. The police suddenly arrive and immediately arrest Jim who was been inadvertently stained with blood as a result of attempting the unsuccessful resuscitation of the deceased and they charge him with his murder.
Jim's wife, employs Sam Carew, to find out who really killed Alistair and our hero is an unusual sort of detective as he runs his PI business in parallel with a building business. Jim's wife was an old girlfriend of Sam and is happy to rekindle their relationship whilst he is resting from his investigations.
There is also another strand to the plot in that a local businessman asks Sam to look after the security of an old Dutch master as it is transported from Amsterdam to a local museum and during this an attempt is made to steal it.
An additional element to the plot is that Sam is attacked by three local gypsies and following this one of his friends who had the appropriate military training bombed all of the gypsy encampment and of course our detective is blamed and has even more hassle as a result.
The various characters seem very true to life as the author gives his characters background and makes them very much flesh and blood. The plots are very intricate and you are almost on the edge of your seat reading to see what will happen next.
This very enjoyable, hard to put down book has some very witty parts as the plot twists and turns and all the various elements come together in an unexpected ending. This is the second book I've read in this series and I look forward to reading the further adventures of "Mad" Sam Carew.
Terry Halligan, England