Sunday, September 16, 2007

Flawed-Jo Bannister

Jo Bannister
St. Martin’s, Sep 18 2007, $24.95
ISBN: 9780312375669

In Dimmock, England Brodie Farrell’s business-Looking for Something? detective agency has proven a success. However, Brodie is taken aback when she learns she is pregnant; a delicate condition that panics her as this is not good for sleuthing. Adding to her chagrin is that just before she found out she was carrying, she and her partner Detective Superintendent Jack Deacon split.

However, Brodie’s loyal best friend Daniel Hood tales a leave of absence from his math teaching position to run Looking for Something? while she deals with her pregnancy. However, Daniel becomes concerned about a baldy bruised preadolescent child, Noah Selkirk. The twelve-year-old boy claims his influential father attorney Adam Selkirk abuses him. Daniel tries to intervene with the family on behalf of Noah, but is threatened with a lawsuit for slander, a warning to stay away from their son or else face nasty accusations, and bodily harm.

There is a bit of a mystery in the latest treasure seeker tale (can’t say thriller), but that serves as a minor subplot to what is a deep character study as the two prime plots are Daniel’s mishandling the Selkirk family affair and Brodie’s demeanor albeit her pregnancy and her men, past and present. Besides Daniel and Brodie being fully developed (and not just because she is pregnant), the secondary cast seems genuine; readers will believe that the wealthy Selkirk brood have major issues and so does Brodie especially with Jack who seems to have bounced into another woman’s arms. Readers will appreciate this comic-tragic relationship drama.

Harriet Klausner

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