Kate is working undercover, with a colleague obviously damaged by something in his past. And they don't just work together: they have to live together, as man and wife. Not much fun for either of them.
Hidden Power takes place not in Birmingham but in Devon, the setting of my two romantic novels. There's a little romance in this - Kate's relationship with Rod Neville seems to be coming along nicely until it's interrupted by work - but this is possibly one of the darker Power novels.
We've all been stopped in the street by people apparently carrying out consumer surveys into holiday habits, only to find we're being softened up to buy a timeshare somewhere unlikely. I once "won" a holiday in darkest East Anglia this way, determinedly fending off the sales team's persistent efforts to get me to sign up (would you want to commit yourself to endless holidays in Cromer?)
While I'm quite sure the company I had dealings with was entirely legal and legitimate, the one Kate gets involved with assuredly isn't. Her problem is that she doesn't know who's involved in the criminal scam and who isn't. Or indeed, quite what the scam may be.
Don't let the dirty deeds Kate uncovers put you off going to Devon: you'll find endless housing developments like hers in Newton Abbot, Keats's cottage in Teignmouth, a couple of good pubs in Cockswood, a brilliant charity clothing exchange in Topsham and, of course, the wonderful cathedral in Exeter. Should you travel to Dartmoor, you'll find the potter in Moretonhampstead who sold Kate her precious vase.
Go on - take a break down there. And take Hidden Power with you in case it rains.
Hodder & Stoughton Ltd
5 September 2002
Most imaginative… dashingly plotted.
Times Crime Supplement