'All My Enemies' an elegant crime novel.
'All My Enemies' an elegant crime novel.

Book review: All My Enemies

BOOK: All My Enemies
AUTHOR: Barry Maitland
PUBLISHER: Allen & Unwin Aust
RRP: $29.99

IF you love crime novels, you may well already be a fan of Barry Maitland's Brock and Kolla series.

One of the reasons I've found the series so satisfying is the manner in which Maitland weaves an intriguing murder mystery with an aspect of history or a lesser-known sector in society.

In Dark Mirror, for example, the reader not only was swept along by a dramatic crime, but the clue to that poisoning lay in the fascinating 19th century Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and poet and painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti and his circle.

In The Verge Practice, Maitland takes us into the world of architecture - a world where he, after lecturing and practising in that field, is very much at home.

His "latest" Brock and Kolla novel, All My Enemies was originally published in 1996 and is early in the series.

But it had a limited release in Australia at that time.

That has now been rectified and fans will be able to complete their Brock and Kolla reading to date with this novel, as well as catch up on some of the main characters' back stories.

In All My Enemies, detective Kathy Kolla is about to start her new job at New Scotland Yard's Serious Crimes Branch under Detective Chief Inspector Brock.

Even before her first day, a grotesque murder of an unlikely victim leads the team to an amateur drama group.

As Kathy investigates, she's drawn further into the theatre and a series of murders linked by whatever play this theatre group is performing.

The manner of death imitates a death or some element of the play.

All My Enemies twists and turns delightfully, leading to an entirely satisfying and unexpected denouncement.

It is told from Kathy's perspective and perhaps for this reason Brock felt a little underdone.

Nevertheless Maitland writes elegantly and tells a good story - delivering the sort of book you are reluctant to put down at night and impatient to return to the next day.

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