Chelsea Mansions (Brock and Kolla Series #11) by Barry Maitland | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Chelsea Mansions (Brock and Kolla Series #11)

Chelsea Mansions (Brock and Kolla Series #11)

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by Barry Maitland
     
 

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Brock and Kolla return in "one of the best in a top-notch series!" (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

The annual Chelsea Flower Show in London is tainted by the murder of an American tourist in what appears to be a random act of violence. It is quickly discovered that the killer avoided having both his face and his escape captured on any of the many closed-circuit

Overview

Brock and Kolla return in "one of the best in a top-notch series!" (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

The annual Chelsea Flower Show in London is tainted by the murder of an American tourist in what appears to be a random act of violence. It is quickly discovered that the killer avoided having both his face and his escape captured on any of the many closed-circuit cameras in the area. What originally seemed a senseless crime was in fact a carefully planned murder.

But how could a retired widow be worth the trouble of such an elaborate killing? When a wealthy Russian oligarch is killed in his estate near the hotel of the murdered tourist, the detectives suspect that this case is even more complicated than it appears.

The trail leads Scotland Yard detectives DCI David Brock and DI Kathy Kolla as far abroad as the U.S. and deep into the past, where personal stakes are involved and all-but-forgotten secrets are the key to a string of bloody murders that are only just the beginning.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Satisfyingly rich fare for puzzle addicts and conspiracy theorists alike, capped by a string of climactic fireworks that are still exploding in the very last paragraph.” —Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
Near the outset of Maitland’s overwrought 11th mystery featuring Det. Chief Insp. David Brock and Det. Insp. Kathy Kolla (after 2009’s The Dark Mirror), an unknown but exceptionally strong assailant throws 70-year-old American widow Nancy Haynes, who spent the day at London’s annual Chelsea Flower Show, to her death in front of a bus. What at first appears to be a random act of violence by a disturbed man turns out to be a carefully premeditated killing in which the accomplices are afraid to talk. Soon after, someone stabs to death a wealthy Russian oligarch in a garden near the Chelsea hotel where Haynes was staying. Brock and Kolla pursue both cases, which predictably intersect. Maitland throws in academics with arcane knowledge, glamorous model wives, armchair detectives, cold war ghosts, corrupt politicians, financial wizards, illegal immigrants, and much more, but the result is more wearying than stimulating. (Nov.)
Library Journal
When an American tourist is killed at London's Chelsea Flower Show, the act is thought to be random—until the second killing. Brock and Kolla (Dark Mirror) must find out how the Russians figure into this mess.
Kirkus Reviews
A pair of murders apparently related only by their proximity in time and place--London's normally homicide-free Chelsea district--provides the latest challenge for the Met's DI Kathy Kolla and DCI David Brock (Dark Mirror, 2009, etc.). Which is more incredible: that a stranger would attack visiting Boston widower Nancy Haynes as she emerged with her accountant and friend Emerson Merckle from the Chelsea Flower Show and throw her under a passing bus, or that wealthy Russian businessman Mikhail Moszynski would be stabbed to death in his garden a few steps from Chelsea Mansions, the faded boutique hotel where Nancy had insisted on staying? The theory favored by Commander Sharpe, Brock's boss, is that Nancy must have been mistaken for Mikhail's imperious mother Marta by someone bent on revenge against her son. A second theory, pushed hard by Chelsea Mansions owner Toby Beaumont, is that the evil power behind Mikhail's death is Sir Nigel Hadden-Vane, the dirty MP Brock last tilted with in Spider Trap (2006). But there's a third, even darker possibility buried deep in Nancy's family history. Although Brock is sidelined through most of the early going by a life-threatening infection and Kathy gets pulled off the case just as he's fit enough to return, they close the case by an impressive show of tag-team sleuthing, complemented by the unsolicited help they both get from Canadian forensic linguist John Greenslade, who's now sleeping in the bed last occupied by Nancy Haynes. Satisfyingly rich fare for puzzle addicts and conspiracy theorists alike, capped by a string of climactic fireworks that are still exploding in the very last paragraph.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781250006943
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
10/30/2012
Series:
Brock and Kolla Series, #11
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
601,615
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chelsea Mansions


By Barry Maitland

Minotaur Books

Copyright © 2012 Barry Maitland
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781250006943

ONE
 
 
THE GRAY-HAIRED MAN MADE his way slowly through the crowd, frowning with concentration, careful not to spill the two plastic flutes of champagne. A band was playing selections from Gilbert and Sullivan on the sunlit lawn ahead, surrounded by hundreds of people sitting on white plastic seats. It took him a moment to make out his friend among them.
“Here we are,” he said, handing her a precious drink and sinking with a sigh of relief onto the seat beside her.
“Dear Emerson.” She smiled at him, noticing the flush on his face. “Was there a huge line?”
“Not when they saw the prices. These cost more than our flights.”
She patted his hand. “I’m sorry. I think you’ve had enough of this, haven’t you?”
“Oh, don’t worry about me. We’ll stay as long as you want.”
“I’ve had a wonderful day, but my feet are getting tired and I’d be happy to wander back.”
He nodded, hiding his relief. He’d seen more than enough blooms to last the rest of his lifetime. A kind of numbness had set in somewhere inside the vast central marquee in front of yet another spectacular cascade of white or pink or purple flowers, and the rising temperature and crowd numbers had made him feel increasingly uncomfortable.
“You’re not sorry I dragged you over here?” she asked.
“You know I’m not. I’ve enjoyed every minute. Though I do think you might have let me book us in at the Hilton.”
She laughed. “But our place has so much more character.”
“Oh, it’s got character, all right—a manager who can’t see, a concierge who can’t speak, and a bellboy who can’t walk.”
“That’s cruel, Emerson.”
“But true. And you still haven’t told me why you picked it.”
“It’s a secret, but I will tell you, when I’m good and ready.”
“A mystery, eh? Won’t you give me a clue?”
“It’s a ghost story, but I won’t say any more than that.”
He laughed, then sat up and peered out over the heads of the seated crowd. “I thought I saw your admirer again back there. I took a picture, here.”
She peered at the image on his camera, and made out the man in the dark glasses, taller than the people around him, with black hair slicked back. “Oh yes, that’s him. He’s rather sinister, isn’t he?”
“Like a Mexican gangster. Can’t see him now though.”
“He’s probably gone home to his luxury penthouse, which is what we should be doing. Come on.”
They finished their drinks and got to their feet, feeling stiff now and tired, and threaded their way down the row of chairs and through the trees onto the avenue leading back to the entrance gates, becoming part of a solid stream of people making their way out onto Lower Sloane Street.
“No sign of a cab,” he muttered.
“Doesn’t matter. It isn’t far. Do us good.”
He doubted that. The question was whether they would have enough energy left to climb all those stairs at the hotel when they got back.
They crossed Sloane Square and continued up Sloane Street. There were fewer people on the footpath now and they walked at a steady pace together, her arm in his. Once, he recalled, a couple of decades ago, he had harbored fantasies about doing just this, running off to London or Paris with Nancy, their spouses none the wiser. He had never asked her. Would she have agreed? It was an intriguing question and one that he might put to her, late one evening over a bottle of wine. But now those spouses had passed away, and so had the lustful impulse. Now she was just a very good friend, as agreeable a traveling companion as anyone might wish for.
And as he formed that thought, a massive blow on his right shoulder sent him crashing to the ground. Dazed, head crackling with confusion, he lay on the concrete pavement aware of a harsh squealing noise that filled the air, and then abrupt silence. He tried to push himself upright but his arm and shoulder seemed to have no strength. He heard screams, human ones this time, and the sound of running feet. Someone was bending over him, asking if he was all right.
*   *   *
THE FIRST POLICE AT the scene were two officers from Chelsea police station in Lucan Place, who arrived at the same time as the ambulance. While one heard a confusing mixture of contradictory accounts from bystanders, staring with hands over their mouths, or talking into their mobile phones, the other spoke to the driver of the number 22 double-decker bus that was pulled into the curb. White-faced and jerky in his gestures, the driver was in absolutely no doubt about what had happened.
“After the Sloane Square stop the road ahead was clear. I crossed Cadogan Gate and noticed this bloke up ahead turn and see me coming, then start running, and I thought, you’d better get a move on if you want to catch us at Pont Street, mate.”
“How fast were you going?”
“Twenty, twenty-five, no more, God’s my witness.”
“Go on.”
“This runner dodged around the people on the footpath, then as I got closer he charged straight into this old couple. I saw one of them, the bloke, go flying, and I thought, you stupid bugger, look what you’ve done. Then…” The driver hesitated and stared for a moment at the policeman’s chest, as if he could see a film unreeling in front of him there on the black protective vest. “Then the runner grabbed the other one, the woman, and lifted her up in his arms, like she was a baby, and spun her around and threw her in front of my bus.”
“Hang on,” the officer began, but the driver had buckled and was being sick over his boots.


 
Copyright © 2011 by Barry Maitland


Continues...

Excerpted from Chelsea Mansions by Barry Maitland Copyright © 2012 by Barry Maitland. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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From the Publisher
"Satisfyingly rich fare for puzzle addicts and conspiracy theorists alike, capped by a string of climactic fireworks that are still exploding in the very last paragraph."—Kirkus Reviews

Meet the Author

BARRY MAITLAND is the award-winning author of several previous novels featuring DCI David Brock and DI Kathy Kolla, most recently Dark Mirror. Born in Scotland and raised in London, Maitland lives in Australia.

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