DEATH BY DESIGN
(Inspector Ikmen Mysteries)

Barbara Nadel

Headline Hbk £19.99

Released: Jan 2010

Reviewer: Gwen Moffat

  Gwen Moffatís day job was rock climbing and she broke moulds. As the first woman guide she carved a niche in the macho world of professional mountaineering; as a crime writer she specialises in wild country. Her main protagonist, Melinda Pink, follows her creatorís interests: surpassing her in some, falling short in others. Miss Pink is an intrepid rider but not much of a climber, she is a perceptive investigator and a large woman of imposing presence  

Proliferation of fake designer goods appears innocuous; even Inspector Ikmen of the Turkish police has a ďRolexĒ watch (which worked for a week) and his daughters own Prada handbags. But the business has become so lucrative that organised crime has taken over. Sweat shops are crammed with illegal aliens shackled to their benches; they are starved and beaten, many dying of TB and AIDS. 

In Istanbul, in the office of such a factory, a boy blows himself up with a grenade, injuring Ikmen ad triggering an investigation involving a potentional terrorist atrocity in London. Which is how Ikmen comes to take lodgings in the Turkish community in Stoke Newington with orders to infiltrate an organisation that uses people as slaves to man their factories. Prostitution and drugs are side-lines, torture and murder both a deterrent and punishment. 

Ikmenís assistant on this hazardous mission is an attractive street-wise female cop with Turkish and British affiliations: counter-balance to the misery of Ikamenís domestic situation where his estranged wife blames him unjustly for the shooting of their gangster son. Another sympathetic, even noble character is Londonís mayor: the son of Turkish immigrants, Oxford-educated and a QC, passionately opposed to the evils of organised crime in his beloved city. 

With its amazing exposure of conditions in sweat shops the plot is innovative and revealing, and the action moves at such a cracking pace that the obligatory sex scene comes over as superfluous. Dialogue is prosaic but if solecisms and the odd mistake are overlooked fans of Nadel wonít be disappointed in the latest exploit of a very human detective

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

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