The assignment in Greece might have been the answer to Trevor and Sandra's problems except for one thing. Someone was trying to frame them for murder... with a watermelon. 'Money for old rope,' Sandra had said when they accepted the job of looking after the ageing Marcus Ingleby at his villa in Greece, but when a neighbour brings a gift for the old man, the prospect of spending most of the rest of their lives in a Greek prison becomes a terrifying reality. Meanwhile, Ingleby has problems of his own. During his seventy-odd years, his cupboard has accumulated plenty of skeletons, one of which is about to be rattled by a couple of ex-cons and a retired police inspector from his murky past. Heads You Lose is the sequel to Lifting the Lid and the second book in the 'Lifting the Lid' series, featuring Sandra Gray, Trevor Hawkins and his incorrigible dog, Milly.
February 10, 2017
Trevor Hawkins and Sandra Gray are two PIs who aren’t exactly a rousing success. When they’re hired to travel to Greece to be nursemaids to a sick old man, Marcus Ingleby, they see it as a welcome change of pace. Little do they know that the only case from which they made money, the downfall of semi-retired gangster, Harry Vincent, will follow them to Greece and complicate their lives beyond measure.
After an interesting opening which starts like a thriller, and ends with Trevor being bonked by a cheating spouse he’s been tailing, the reader is plunged head-on into a comic romp in which even the violent encounters and bloody, beheaded corpses are milked for laughs.
This story has an expansive cast of characters, with different, but ultimately interlocking motives. But, the author handles them well by introducing each in their own chapter. The suspense is kept up by only hinting at the complex relationships—there are two separate crimes that bring them all together—until near the end when the threads are brought together.
The main weakness of this book is that the relationship between Hawkins and Gray is not as fully explained as it could be. Their history is mostly hinted at until well past the book’s midpoint when the reader learns that they had an almost romantic encounter. Donna Vincent’s motive is exposed too early, taking away some of the mystery. This, however, is just one reader’s observation. Heads You Lose is a funny book, and well worth the read.
I give it four stars.