Gods and Beasts

Reagan Arthur: Little, Brown. Feb. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780316188524. $25.99. F
OrangeReviewStarDuring an armed robbery in a Glasgow post office, a grandfather inexplicably steps from the queue to help the gunman before being shot to smithereens. DS Alex Morrow is on the case, despite her exhaustion from having newborn twins. But what begins as a murder investigation turns into a maze of conspiracy and lies. A witness claims the grandfather recognized his killer, but the dead man's widow says it's impossible. Meanwhile, one of Morrow's trusted officers flirts with corruption, and her half-brother, Danny, a notorious gangster, is connected to a scandal that threatens a prominent politician. Although these story lines don't always appear to connect, Mina deftly stitches them together in time for a powerful climax.
VERDICT In this third Alex Morrow procedural (after The End of the Wasp Season) Mina again plumbs the depths of the grungy Scottish metropolis, capturing political posturing, class differences, and familial dynamics with equal aplomb. At its center is the cranky, sympathetic Morrow, fast becoming one of the most intriguing cops in crime fiction. Fans of smart, character-driven procedurals will want to snatch this one up. [See Prepub Alert, 8/3/12.]
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