Fourth entry in the twenty book series about the police inspector in Sydney,Australia. The first is “The High Commissioner” (1966) and the last is 2004’s “Degrees Of Connection.”
With the Australian Bicentennial as a background Scobie has to try and find out who is paying to kill a deposed dictator. Abdul Timori of Palucca is in exile thanks to a coup by his top generals. Fleeing along with him is his wife Delvina and millions of dollars. She’s half Australian.
Someone takes a shot at Abdul, misses and kills an aide. Across the street where the sniper fired from Scobie discovers the body of an elderly lady. The assassin killed her when he needed the room to fire his shot.
The assassin is Miguel Seville from Argentinia. He was part of various guerrilla groups before deciding to work solo. In this job he works with a go between and doesn’t know who the actual client is. He’s being paid a million dollars. He’s going to have to try again. He doesn’t realize his mistake that led to Scobie finding out his identity.
He needs another gun and gets back in touch with the leader of a radical Aborigine group. It’ll cost him five grand. Scobie catches up with Seville only to be taken hostage for a while.
Also in the mix is the Australian Prime Minister who is a former TV star and various police and government officials that Scobie has to deal with. Along with the Timori’s is Abdul’s secretary Sun who isn’t very cooperative.
Then it’s the night of the Bicentennial Ball. Abdul stays home while Delvina flirts and insults her way through the function. Now things start to happen. The solution isn’t a real surprise but the book is well done so it doesn’t matter. This is a good series well worth exploring.