Spider Trap Paperback – 25 Jun 2009
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'Solid procedural suspense and a serious subtext concerning the nature of corruption make this new series stand out' - Time Out
About the Author
Barry Maitland was born in Scotland and raised in London. He studied at Cambridge and moved to Australia to become Professor of Architecture at the University of Newcastle. He has since retired to pursue his writing. Maitland's The Marx Sisters was nominated for the John Creasey Award for Best First Novel and The Malcontenta won the Ned Kelly Award for Best Crime Fiction. No Trace is his eighth Brock and Kolla mystery.
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Top Customer Reviews
On the flip slide, the story is quite slow to develop and despite the pairing of a male and a female detectives as leads, I didn't feel much was done with the characterisations. Quite a large coincidence holds things together as an incident investigated by the lead detective a generation ago is connected with a current murder investigation.
No typos to speak of in the Kindle version, which was a relief.
In summary, this is a pretty good police procedural, but one which doesn't make it into the brilliant mystery category. 7/10
Surprisingly perhaps, for a Brit who relocated to Australia in the mid 1980s, Maitland's series is set in and around London. Returning to the area where he grew up for his novels, Spider Trap is set south of the river in Lambeth. Scotland Yard's Brock and Kolla are a classic police pairing - David Brock is the mature and experienced DCI, and DS Kathy Kolla is his insightful younger colleague, working in the Serious Crime Squad (SCI).
The story starts off with the bodies of two girls being discovered in a garage; they had been shot in the head and there was evidence of crack cocaine use. It would have been put down to just another gang murder, but the local MP Michael Grant, a charismatic young Jamaican, raises the profile and the SCI are called in. A young lad at the school next door, snuck onto the wasteground near the train tracks hoping to find the gun, but instead finds a human jawbone. That discovery leads to a further three bodies being found. However, these had been buried over twenty years previously but it appears that the same weapon was used - what's the connection?
DCI Brock is ideally placed to lead the case, as he started his detective career in Lambeth.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
in the way they do their detective jobs and the way they often use work to avoid thinking too much or feeling too
much in their private lives.
I've read almost all of Matiland's mysteries and I like them (obviously) very much, but
the last two I've read on Kindle have had so many formatting and other errors they have nearly made
me stop reading to protest. In this book, every single time the writer uses the word I'll, it appears as I'llTil.
And in other words with I', there's an upper case T after the apostrophe. In addition to this, dialogue lines which
should start on separate lines run together, so you aren't sure who's talking. And there
are sentences without periods at the end, words of pure gibberish and some of the common variety of typos that editing should catch.
Surely, a major publisher would and should edit/check? On Kindle, it's still possible to go in and fix this stuff, so maybe
the publisher will see this and fix these things.
Spider Trap contains so many twists upon surprising twist that almost anything one says about it would prove a spoiler. Let’s just say that the police have been trying to nab Spider Roach and his three menacing sons for so long — and so unsuccessfully — that the higher-ups have given orders to leave them alone so as to not be humiliated — and accused of harassment — yet one more time. However, the deaths of two teenage girls leads Chief Inspector David Brock’s team to discover three more corpses in the same field — corpses of “Yardies” (Jamaican immigrants) — dating back to the 1980s, when Brock was assigned to that very area.
Spider Trap’s very title is an irony — although to explain why would be to reveal too much. As Brock gingerly begins to investigate the Roach family yet again, he hopes that, for once, he will be able to pin at least some of the murders, drug trafficking and mayhem that Spider Roach has wrought at his door. However, in the ensuing decades, Roach has cultivated the air of a legitimate businessman and his financial and social ties reach into the police department and into the very halls of Parliament. Roach fancies himself invincible. Can Brock find a chink in that armor? As the many corpses in Roach’s wake testify, Brock’s playing a very dangerous game.
Readers of course will be thrilled by the suspenseful story — one that will keep you reading late into the night. (Newcomers to the series won’t have any trouble beginning with Spider Trap.) But longtime fans of Brock and his loyal and fearless Detective Sergeant Kathy Kolla will be interested in learning more about Brock’s early career. As with all of Barry Maitland’s novels, Spider Trap provides an education to readers — particularly those of us outside of the UK; in this case, we learn so much about the violence-laden history of Jamaica and of the Jamaican diaspora to the Brixton district of South London — including the 1981 Brixton riot and the conditions that led to it. I learned so much, but it never detracted from the superb plot. Don’t miss this one!