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by Paul Eddy
ISBN 0399146539 / 9780399146534 / 0-399-14653-9
Publisher Putnam Adult
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The title Flint suggests something incendiary, and that is precisely the word to describe Inspector Grace Flint. Keenly observant and physically courageous to the point of madness, Flint is a complicated heroine who has a personal stake in hunting down a notorious money launderer who, we learn, is just the first in a chain of high-level bad guys. In the first chapter, a sting operation turns bad and Flint's partner is executed. Flint herself is literally smashed to bits. Pistol-whipped and kicked in the face, she requires multiple plastic surgeries to reconstruct a mere approximation of her old face, a mask that rarely betrays the rage that motivates her remarkable bravery.
Hot on the trail of her assailant, Flint disappears from her home base of London, which raises the concern (or is it something else?) of her supervisors. They commission Harry Cohen, former chief legal adviser to the British Security Services, to find her. The search leads Flint and Cohen, working separately, high into governments on both sides of the Atlantic, where they unravel a conspiracy whose participants will stop at nothing to keep it a secret.
But the conspirators are up against formidable detectives. Flint's mother disappeared suddenly on a country walk when Grace was just 5 years old; the disappearance shapes her personality from then on. Cohen lost his wife to cancer; just 34, she was a victim of misleading medical tests that allowed cancer to metastasize before it was diagnosed. Flint and Cohen are motivated by a strong sense of justice, and they're dangerous because they each think they've got nothing to lose.
Author Paul Eddy spent 25 years as an investigative crime reporter for London's Sunday Times, and his broad research crams the novel with highly verisimilar details. Grisly without being gratuitously violent, Flint explores human motivations with the same alacrity that it delves into the intricacies of international financial scams and the dirty work it takes to hide them. This book is truly a page-turner, full of depth but brilliantly fast-paced. --Kathi Inman Berens [via]