Nothing Ventured

St. Martin’s. (Det. William Warwick, Bk. 1). Sept. 2019. 336p. ISBN 9781250200761. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250200778. M
From age eight, William Warwick knew he wanted to be a police detective. His father, a criminal barrister, wished William would have followed in his footsteps. But with the assistance of his mother, William went to university, studied art, and became a police officer. He starts at the bottom, walking a beat as a police constable, although he could have been fast-tracked as a college graduate. When he passes the detective’s exam, William is assigned to the Metropolitan Police Force, attached to Art and Antiques. While he works several cases, because of his knowledge of art, his major assignment involves the theft of valuable paintings, forgeries, and a finder’s fee when the paintings are “recovered” on behalf of the insurance companies. While investigating, he meets Beth Rainsford, a beautiful gallery research assistant, who has family secrets. The case, and Beth’s secret, result in riveting simultaneous court trials, in a story that builds in intensity.
VERDICT Following the success of the historical “Clifton Chronicles,” Archer launches a series set in the 1980s. As he says, it’s the story of a detective, not a detective story. Archer’s numerous fans will appreciate another dramatic, character-driven mystery set in the world of art, police work, and court trials. [See Prepub Alert, 3/17/19.]

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