Deadly Diplomacy is the first book in Jean Harrod's Diplomatic Crime Series featuring British Consul Jessica Turner. Doing things backwards, I've just read and reviewed the second book in the series, Deadly Deceit, which saw Jess sent off on a new assignment to the Turks & Caicos Islands in the Caribbean. Both books can be enjoyed as stand-alone novels in their own right, but it was interesting to see the background story and the developing relationships between the characters.
In Deadly Diplomacy, Jessica is based in Canberra and finds herself sent to Brisbane to liaise with police and support the family following the brutal murder of a young British businesswoman. Jess ends up being the only person that the dead woman's journalist sister will trust so she finds herself dragged deeper and deeper into a dangerous cat-and-mouse game in which the body count, and Jess's uneasy sense of being followed, grows ever greater.
It's interesting to see a diplomat as the main protagonist of a crime fiction novel, although she does work closely with a rather brusque Aussie cop, DI Tom Sangster (who becomes more pleasant as the story progresses). The plot is fast-paced and the suspense is maintained right to the very end because there are numerous characters who could all turn out to the the bad guy. I thought the villain's motives were slightly flimsy so his character could have done with being further developed, but overall it's an enjoyable read that has left me wanting to follow the further adventures of Jess, who seems to be a magnet for trouble, danger and excitement.
star rating : 4/5
RRP : £6.99
Disclosure : I received a copy of the book in order to write an honest review.