Scottish politics and policing offer a fertile source for fictional plots, and former journalist Campbell Hart makes the most of it. Referendum is the third in his series about Glasgow Detective Inspector John Arbogast.
The heft of this series is developing nicely, as the characters and setting gain depth with each book and the plots are layered with threads from the previous books. Arbogast and his police colleagues are familiar now and Hart chooses his political setting, in the run-up to the Scottish Referendum for Independence, with care. Throw in a bent copper, an Irish thug, a BBC reporter, a family struggling with debt, and a nationalist determined to have his moment of propaganda, and there are many narrative threads to follow.
A man dies beneath a bridge, suicide or murder? But then a debt collector calls on his wife, which kickstarts a chain of events involving Arbogast. As well as chasing down a missing teenager, he takes a secret trip to Belfast to research the background of a fellow officer. What he finds there leads straight back to Glasgow and a deadly climax at the partly-constructed new police headquarters building, a sparkling transparent glass and steel building. Is Glasgow’s policing as transparent as its new HQ?
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‘Referendum’ by Campbell Hart, #3Arbogast [UK: Campbell Hart] Buy at Amazon
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