MYSTERY

Big Sky

Little, Brown. (Jackson Brodie, Bk. 5). Jun. 2019. 400p. ISBN 9780316523097. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780316523103. M
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Policeman-turned-PI Jackson Brodie has been reduced to chasing cheating husbands and shuttling his teenage son and elderly dog around town. Detective Constables Reggie Chase and Ronnie Dibicki are following up some new leads in a high-level cold case and reinterviewing the original witnesses. Tommy Holroyd, Andy Bragg, and Steve Mellors are involved in human trafficking, and their friend Vince Ives is dealing with losing his job and being the prime suspect in the murder of his soon-to-be ex-wife. When Crystal Holroyd, Tommy's wife, hires Brodie because she thinks she's being followed, the stars align and all of these activities and characters converge. As events unfold, there are several murders, a kidnapping, and lots of threats. Sprinkled throughout are Brodie's musings about love, aging, children, and life.
VERDICT This long-anticipated reappearance of fan-favorite Brodie (following 2011's Started Early, Took My Dog) is ultimately disappointing. Brodie takes a backseat throughout and the first half is a jumble of the various characters and their nefarious activities. The minimal action occurs toward the end, and the denouement feels contrived. Brodie has seen better days. [See Prepub Alert, 12/6/18.]

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