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    Review of A DETECTIVE IN LOVE by H. R. F. Keating

    Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin's Minotaur, December 2002 (U.K. 2001)

    When beautiful tennis star Barbara (Bubbles) Xingara is found murdered, the rural police force calls in Detective Superintendent Harriet Martens for help. Harriet has earned a reputation as the 'hard detective,' but she falls fast for a younger Detective Inspector Brent. An affair would definitely complicate Harriet's marriage, not to mention both of their police careers, but she can hardly keep her hands to herself from the moment she first sees him. Fortunately, or unfortunately, all of the early leads generate nothing but trouble, giving Harriet and Brent time together to fuel the attraction.

    After the strong THE HARD DETECTIVE (see the review), A DETECTIVE IN LOVE is something of a disappointment. Harriet's instant love is not exactly unbelievable, but it seems motivated by author H. R. F. Keating's (see more reviews of novels by Keating) desire to show how lust and love can strike instantly than by something coming from the characters themselves. Harriet's long lustful thoughts don't deliver enough detail to be titillating, but do distract from the mystery. Possibly this is just as well as the mystery seems disjointed rather than progressing in a story arc.

    I've read enough Keating to look forward to his next novel, but this one is best for real fans.

    One Star

    Reviewed 1/03/03

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