by Peter James (Macmillan) ISBN 9781447255819
Peter James was inspired to write this story by a metropolitan policeman who has unusual pets: poison dart frogs.
James thoroughly researches police operations and even provides a glossary on police terminology. He also researches technical, medical and scientific information, which undoubtedly adds to the story's authenticity. The book is part of the Roy Grace series.
Jodie is the ugly duckling in her family and made to feel an outsider. Her beautiful sister is the favourite. Jodie decided from an early age that she needed to change this. She would be beautiful, rich and powerful. Her philosophy is: If you can't earn it, marry it. The only problem with this is how to discard the husband when necessary. Jodie acquires these skills in a venomous way. She is a dangerous manipulator - a typical black widow - yet, even she can make mistakes.
Detective Roy Grace is still working on a previous case. Another escaped criminal is also on his radar. To top it all, he suspects a black widow is in town. All three are cunning, elusive and lethal. Roy is feeling pressure from his superior whom he dislikes anyway. His personal life has become complicated: His wife who disappeared has been located.
There are some horrific moments, but the story is also sprinkled with humorous moments. The police work is interesting and informative rather than tedious. Altogether, it is a splendid read.