By Jo Bannister
(Minotaur Books, Hardcover, 9780312375669, 336pp.)
Publication Date: September 18, 2007
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"You can waste a lot of time looking . . . or you can pay me to find it for you." So goes the slogan of Brodie Farrell's one-woman detective agency. Although Brodie has made some surprising---and dangerous---discoveries while working as a modern-day treasure hunter, none of them has turned her life upside down in quite the way that her unexpected pregnancy does.
The timing is particularly awkward because Brodie has recently separated from her partner, the prickly Detective Superintendent Jack Deacon. To complicate matters further, Detective Inspector Alix Hyde has set her sights on Deacon while simultaneously trailing a mysterious criminal---and one-time friend of Deacon's---Terry Walsh, who has a habit of springing surprises of his own.
As ever, Brodie's best friend, Daniel Hood, will do anything to help her---even taking a leave from his beloved teaching job so that he can look after her business while she takes care of the baby. But soon Daniel is preoccupied with the well-being of young Noah Selkirk, who seems to be collecting more bruises than is reasonable even for a twelve-year-old boy, and is strangely linked to the Walsh case as well. . . .
As their entanglements weave together in complex patterns, all of the parties have to face the consequences of their own mistakes. But it's the flaws that make all of us human---and perhaps that ultimately make us stronger.
Jo Bannister began her career as a journalist after leaving school at sixteen to work on a local weekly newspaper. She was shortlisted for several prestigious awards and worked as the editor of the County Down Spectator for some years before leaving to write full time. She lives in Northern Ireland.
"Bannister is one of the undersung treasures of the mystery genre, and it's high time she got the attention she deserves." ---Chicago Tribune
"Bannister excels at juggling her main characters' quirks, nuances, and seething lapses of loyalty." ---Kirkus Reviews
"Bannister is one of the genre's best."---Booklist
"Together they [Daniel Hood and Brodie Farrell] are as dogged a pair as exists in the genre, and the reader, whether looking for psychological insights or a strong pursuit, is rewarded for being along for the ride." ---Houston Chronicle
"Bannister is as good at creating suspense as she is at creating characters." ---San Jose Mercury News
"Jo Bannister scores high on character with her persuasive insights into the psychological responses to pain." ---The New York Times Book Review