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Book - 2014
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Baker & Taylor
When a big-time crook named "Panicking Ralph" has his life threatened, policemen Harpur and Iles take the convoluted case

Ingram Publishing Services
Panicking Ralph is a big-time villain – but he’s a local villain – and when his life is threatened, policemen Harpur and Iles are straight on the case

Detective Chief Superintendent Colin Harpur and his boss, Assistant Chief Constable Desmond Iles, worry about the safety of one of the big-time crooks on their ground, Ralph Ember, sometimes known as Panicking Ralph. Yes, Ralph is a villain, but he’s a local villain, and Harpur and Iles feel a kind of bizarre affection for him. And in any case, Ralph helps Iles keep the city reasonably peaceful. But now some awkward repercussions from Ralph’s lawless past seem to bring danger.

Ralph is aware of this new peril and has installed a bulletproof steel barrier to protect himself in the club he owns – but will this be enough to keep him safe? Harpur thinks not. Surely the upcoming party at the club will provide the perfect moment for a gunman to do for Ralph? The only way Harpur can be sure of protecting Ralph is to attend the party himself . . .
Ralph Ember is a big-time crook on Harpur and Ilse's local ground. But Ralph wasn’t always their villain: his past is entwined with London copper Esther Davidson and the lethal street war that was the making of them both. Now, repercussions of that event threaten 'Panicking' Ralph's life . . . and, with it, the stability of Ilse’s patch.

Baker
& Taylor

When a local villain, with a past entwined with a London copper, is being targeted by a gunman, Detective Chief Superintendent Colin Harpur and Assistant Chief Constable Desmond Iles take the case to protect him.

Publisher: Cr'me de La Crime, 2014
ISBN: 9781780290652
Branch Call Number: M JAMES 2014

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alexica Oct 29, 2014

The "Harpur & Iles," series is outstanding among, actually, every book ever written. James is an excellent, erudite writer, so even though he deals with English police procedurals, he makes allusions to art, history, literature and culture in general which stimulates his plots. And probably best of all, he is hysterically funny, a rarity among books today where there is so much earnestness and angst and finding of oneself.

That said, this is not one of his best books. The plot revolves around an incident in the past and how it returns for vengence today, but there is too much interior monologue to make for the lively events that usually are found in this series. James makes use of irony in his often brutal plots (some of his funniest books are also the most terrifying) and in the last part of this book he returns to his usual mode but too much time is taken wp with backstory and ruminating. I'm looking forward to his next book.......

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