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By Peter Lovesey

Soho Press, April 2008 ($24.00)
ISBN-10: 1569474907
ISBN-13: 978-1-56947-490-7

Reviewed by Shirley Wetzel

Gemma and Jo became instant friends when they cracked up in yoga class and got tossed out. They got together for frequent coffee klatches, talking about jobs, men, clothes, men, work, men... When Gemma declared that she’d like to kill her obnoxious boss, Jo thought it was just talk. When the subject was brought up during a bowling evening with Jo’s boyfriend Rick and Gemma’s friend Jake, Rick started throwing out possible scenarios, and said they should join up and carry out the perfect murder. They could call themselves the Headhunters.

It was still strictly fantasy, right? Rick, who wasn’t such a great boyfriend anyway, ditched Jo and took off with Gemma, leaving her to make conversation with Jake, a reticent hulk of a man who’d failed to impress her at first glance. She decided he was a man worth knowing despite his drawbacks.

A few days later, Jo was walking on a beach near Jake’s home, hoping to "accidentally" run into him. Instead, she almost stumbled over a body. From then on, poor Jo kept turning up in the wrong place at the wrong time. The police, led by Inspector Henrietta "Hen" Mallin, become very interested in her and her friends as another body turns up and Gemma’s boss disappears.

Lovesey is a master at putting ordinary people into extraordinary situations, and he has a delightfully wicked sense of humor. His many fans will enjoy the latest in the Hen Mallin series. This is the third in that series, following THE HOUSE SITTER and THE CIRCLE.

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