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One Man and His Bomb

By H R F Keating

A crime too close for comfort…

Detective Superintendent Harriet Martens is exhausted after a busy day. Sitting at home with her husband, John, it should have been an ordinary evening of relaxation with a glass in hand.

The ringing of the phone shatters the balance of their lives. It’s a call no parent would ever want to receive …

Malcolm and Graham, Harriet and John’s twin sons, had both been posted at Notting Hill PS. Eager to follow in their mother’s footsteps, both boys had worked hard to achieve the posting.

But the call rocks their idyllic existence … both Malcolm and Graham have been the victims of a booby trap placed in Ladbroke Walk, near where they work. Graham is mortally wounded, and Malcolm is fighting for his life. Terrorism is suspected.

Harriet and John have to stay strong and focused. They still have one son who needs them … for as long as he is around!

As Harriet watches and waits for her son to be kept alive by the medical staff, she decides to return to work … she needs to keep her mind off her son’s death. The moments of darkness that descend when she’s not working are unbearable. With Malcolm’s life still under threat, it’s the only think she could do to keep herself sane.

When the Assistant Chief Constable talks her into doing a press conference live on Birchester Television, she complies. She understands the need to support the police in fighting back against terrorism … what they call the “War on Terror”.

With the force under immense pressure, Andrew Brown tasks her with a highly confidential line of enquiry. The danger is much closer to home this time … at Heronsgate House. Working on her own, Harriet steps up to the task.

With one potential suspect in mind, a former Professor of German Studies, Ernst Wichmann, Harriet sets off on a trail of leads. With the case being so sensitive, Harriet has to tread carefully. She cannot afford for suspicions to arise ahead of the investigation.

With every step forward she takes, she finds herself knocking against walls. Surely there is someone who can confirm her suspicions … could it really just be a case of one man and his bomb?

HRF Keating is well versed in the worlds of crime, fiction and non-fiction. He was the crime books reviewer for The Times for fifteen years, as well as serving as the chairman of the Crime Writers’ Association and the Society of Authors, and for many years as president of the Detection Club. Best known for his Inspector Ghote series, which twice won him the CWA Gold Dagger Award, in 1996 he was awarded the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger for outstanding service to crime fiction. One Man and His Bomb is the second in H.R.F. Keating’s Harriet Martens series, following A Detective at Death’s Door

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