Blue Rondo by John Lawton

Blue Rondo - book cover

rondo: a repeated theme, interspersed with episodic variations.

Blue Rondo A La Turk : Dave Brubeck

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A contract killing and an American ‘Gumshoe’.

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London’s police force broke out the champagne. They had finally got long time villain Alfred Joseph Marx. Putting him and most of his mob away should be enough to keep the streets of London free of crime. Not so. Troy’s colleague John Brocklehurst – ‘Brock’ - was killed. The view from the top of the Met was that the villains are taking the piss. Obvious suspect is the mob’s number two – Bernie Champion. Brought in for questioning, lawyer at the ready, Bernie’s not giving anything away. Not even his latest abode. Was it his idea to go away, spend time in hiding or just keeping out of the way of trouble?

Then a dead body turns up, found in a motorway building site. Difficult to know who it was without the head or the hands. The view from the top of the Met was that the villains are taking the piss again. Someone didn’t want him identified that’s for sure.

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Freddie Troy’s personal life is just as confounding. As one woman leaves him another arrives… and then another all the way from America. Kitty, who had to come home for her mother’s funeral, naturally turns up after eighteen years to say hello to Troy and for a good time in bed. The bored wife of an American politician, she’d previously taken herself into company with a crooner, with all the politically fraught undertones of such a relationship. Now he is in London town as well.

Unwittingly she brings in her wake a detective, who is going to follow her every move. And, if that wasn’t enough, hers is a family still rooted firmly in the East End of London, where malice and making money often went hand in hand in the aftermath of the war.