Orion Publishing Group 2001
Reviewed by Sunnie Gill
Grace Smith earns something approximating a living as a Private
Investigator in the English seaside town of Seatoun. Grace isn't really
driven enough to be financially successful at her chosen professional. A
former police officer, Grace was kicked out of the force under a cloud
when she lied in a case while trying to put a wife-beating criminal behind
Not all of Grace's clients are exciting. Take for example Arlene and her
smelly mutt, Waterloo. Waterloo is spoiled rotten and frequently wanders
off. When he does, Arlene calls on a very reluctant Grace. Grace dislikes
having to find Waterloo because it involves a very large beef bone
attached to a piece of rope and swinging it around her head whilst singing
along to the Abba song, Waterloo. But a girl has to pay the rent
and put food on the table, doesn't she?
Grace meets her next client, Stuart Roberts, when she accidentally clonks
him on the head and knocks him out with her dog finding equipment. Stuart
is a mild-mannered accountant with a very strange story to tell. He's been
having hypnotherapy which has unearthed a supposed past life in which
Stuart murdered a family member. Grace is highly sceptical about Stuart's
story but, more intrigued by his current life than his story of a past
one, she decides to unravel the truth.
Author Liz Evans has been marketed as "the English answer to Janet
Evanovich", but I think that's selling her short. Although her books do
have a few whacky characters, they are nowhere near as oddball as
Evanovich's. Evans' plots have much more depth. Those who enjoyed the
first few Evanovich Stephanie Plum books but gave up when they became too
much the same, may well find a first rate substitute in Liz Evans.
BARKING! is the fourth book in the very entertaining Grace Smith series.
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