Hotbed (Hardcover)

By Bill James

Countryman Press, 9780881509502, 249pp.

Publication Date: May 2, 2011

List Price: 23.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


For years drug baron Ralph Ember has run his crooked enterprises peacefully enough alongside those of his rival, Mansel Shale. Their empires have been tolerated by Assistant Chief Constable Desmond Iles as a way of keeping violence off the streets. But are things changing? Karl Marx's bleak theory that all capitalists--including drug tycoons--lust for monopoly seems to be coming true. Do Ember and Shale long for sole control of the trade and the profits? Ember fears that Shale now wants to kill him and take over his firm. Shale, on the other hand, is about to get remarried and--believing in keeping his (so-called) friends close and his enemies closer--has asked Ember to be his best man. Will Ember be appallingly exposed as he stands with Shale at the altar? Or will Shale? Ember wonders whether he should act first to protect himself; one of his people has already been gunned down and the killer has not yet been caught. Iles and Detective Chief Superintendent Colin Harpur have picked up hints of this acutely dangerous shift in the Ember-Shale relationship and must urgently try to head off the inevitable carnage.