Cover image for The bad detective
The bad detective
Keating, H. R. F. (Henry Reymond Fitzwalter), 1926-2011.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Minotaur, 1999.

Physical Description:
279 pages ; 22 cm
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For years Detective Sergeant Jack Stallworthy has taken advantage of the extra perks available to him. He's put away the criminals, made the town safer.Why shouldn't he accept the bonuses for his hard work?His beloved and beautiful wife Lily dreams of retiring on Ko Samui, an island paradise, while Jack would be content to retire to a modest bungalow in Devon.That is, until Jack meets influential businessman Emslie Warnaby.Emslie offers Jack a deal he can hardly refuse: in exchange for just one file at police headquarters, Jack will get the deeds of ownership to the first-class Calm Seas Hotel in Ko Samui.But the incriminating file turns out to be very hard to get indeed, and as Jack tries to complete the transaction, Lily grows impatient about her dream.Jack falls deeper and deeper into crime, and soon there's no turning back....

Author Notes

H. R. F. Keating (Henry Reymond Fitzwalter "Harry" Keating) was born in St. Leonards-on-Sea on October 31, 1926. He attended Merchant Taylor's School in London, England and Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. He worked for The Times (London) as the crime books reviewer from 1967 to 1983. His first novel, Death and the Visiting Firemen, was published in 1959. He wrote about 50 fiction and nonfiction works during his lifetime, but is best known for the Inspector Ghote series. His other works include the Harriet Martens Mysteries series and Sherlock Holmes: The Man and His World.

Keating received the CWA Gold Dagger Award in 1964 for The Perfect Murder and in 1980 for The Murder of the Maharajah, the Edgar Alan Poe award in 1988, the George N. Dove Award in 1995, and the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger for outstanding service to crime fiction in 1996. He died of cardiac failure on March 27, 2011 at the age of 84.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

British copper Jack Stallworthy isn't a bad detective, exactly, but occasionally the opportunity has arisen for him to suppress evidence and, in the process, stash away a few pounds in his secret retirement fund. Jack's wife has decided on Ko Samui, a remote island paradise, as the perfect retirement spot, but Jack knows that his pension--even with the secret stash--won't be enough. So when a local entrepreneur asks Jack to steal a file from police headquarters in exchange for the deed to a hotel in Ko Samui, Jack can hardly believe his "good luck." The only catch is that spiriting the file out of HQ proves much more difficult than Jack could have imagined. In this thought-provoking story of greed, corruption, and scandal, even justice comes dripping with irony--and leaving the reader feeling as much regret as satisfaction. Keating, distinguished author of nearly 50 books, is a gifted writer. His crime novels are perfect for thinking readers who want to be stirred, stimulated, and roused--as well as entertained. --Emily Melton

Publisher's Weekly Review

British Det. Sgt. Jack Stallworthy didn't start out as a corrupt cop. He had every intention of protecting the people of Abbotsport. But when his wife, Lily, his only obsession, wanted her own car, what was an underpaid cop supposed to do but take a bribe? Now in his 50s and looking at retirement, Jack realizes that his meager pension and the only slightly larger stash of money buried in his backyard won't last long on the tropical island of Ko Samui, for which Lily pines. So when computer magnate Emslie Warnaby tempts him, in exchange for plane tickets to the island and a deed for a hotel there, to retrieve a folder the police seized when a bureaucrat was arrested, Jack grudgingly agrees. His attempts at getting the folder from the fraud investigation officeÄwhich range from befriending the charwoman, clerk and detective sergeant in charge to breaking and entering with the help of his archenemy, all the while facing Warnaby's imminent deadlineÄmake up the bulk of this well-told tale. Jack, while crooked, is an astute observer of all around him and serves as a bellwether for a small-town cop's lot in life. Keating's low-key sense of humor and his dexterity at making a crooked protagonist sympathetic are firmly in place, as is the story's satirical edge, which explores the disparity between the financial rewards received by criminals and police and the symbiotic relationship between cops and robbers. Readers will come away from this newest by the veteran author of the Inspector Ghote mysteries with an eye-opening look at modern law enforcement. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved