'Herron is a stylish writer with a mordant sensibility and a deadly wit. He's also a tricky plotter' New York Times Book Review
When Zoë Boehm agrees to track down the gang who knocked over Sweeney's jewellery shop, she's just hoping to break even in time for tax season. She certainly doesn't expect to wind up in a coffin. But she's about to become entangled with a strange collection of characters, starting with suicidal Tim Whitby, who's dedicating what's left of his life to protecting the pretty, battered Katrina Blake from her late husband's sociopathic brothers, Arkle and Trent.
Unfortunately for Zoë, Arkle has a crossbow, Tim has nothing left to lose, and even Katrina has her secrets. And death, like taxes, can't be avoided forever.
In Herron's dazzling third Zo Boehm adventure, the second to appear in the U.S. (after 2004's The Last Voice You Hear), the struggling London PI gets mixed up with, among others, a suicidal widower, a battered wife, a baby-faced giantess and a disgraced policeman. Stirred and shaken, the result is potent and surprising, as Zo scrambles to stay ahead of her creditors. Soon after she's hit by a big back-taxes claim and her car is stolen, Zo receives a call from a robbed jeweler, Harold Sweeney, who offers a reward big enough to cover her bills. Two thieves, including one armed with a crossbow, took things Sweeney couldn't tell police about. All Zo has to do to collect her reward money is identify the two men, but the case proves far from simple. Herron's tale, as the title suggests, is suffused with death, but without a needlessly high body count. Smart, dogged and never down for the count, Zo is a fine addition to the ranks of female PIs.
Win some and loose a lot
Twists and turns make for an exciting and satisfying story. There is a little too much “fine writing” which adds little to Zoe’s adventure and seems like padding. Some terrifying villains and a devious plot make for a good read, but I’d like to hear more about Win, she is a great invention.