Inspector Proby’s Christmas: John Gano

Hampton, in the UK, is fearlessly protected by Detective Inspector Jim Proby. Never mentally off the clock, Proby is unfazed when he receives a call in the middle of the night. What is shocking to him is his newest case. A young woman is found murdered via shotgun blast to her face.

With no rhyme or reason to the murder, Proby barely begins investigating when it happens again. Christmas is right around the corner & now the women of Hampton are terrified. It’s a complicated case & Jim’s under immense pressure to solve it. Suspects are few. In regards to the victims, they seemingly have nothing in common. Or do they?

All Proby knows is that the killer is close by, daring to be caught. It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. Battling a snowstorm, office politics, & marital woes will make it a Holiday Proby will never forget.

Without references to computers & modern conveinences, one could read this as a classic British mystery. John Gano has a style that mimics Agatha Christie-era authors. Jim Proby, too, would be at home with Holmes & Poirot as contemporaries. While Proby serves as our hero & we desperately want him to solve the case, his personal life gives cause to shake him.

His peers & wife seem determined to emasculate him. How a die hard policeman can be so docile outside of work is a bit puzzling. However, it is difficult to not like him. Intense & intelligent, he’s a pit bull at his job. As for the plot itself, it was definitely a twist on what one might find in a holiday mystery. Motive & mode are both fresh takes. There’s a tendency by the author to be a bit lengthy in certain parts of the book. Historical facts about specific buildings, for instance, just aren’t beneficial.

When I initially began reading, I was under the impression that this was a series debut. I am a bit surprised to learn it isn’t. There is too much left to be done with Proby to just leave it as it is currently. Should the author continue, I would continue reading it as well. I give it 4 stars.

*Contains scenes of sex & violence.



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