Head Shot


  • On Amazon
  • ISBN: 978-0747263883
  • My Rating: 7/10

The parents-in-law of Bob Skinner, a police officer in Edinburgh, are killed in the USA, where they were living. He flies to the States and asks a friend from the FBI to help with the investigations. Soon, they discover two other related murder cases. Meanwhile in Edinburgh, Bob Skinner's team is confronted with another murder case with the uncle of a team member being the victim.

Head Shot is well written though I found the constant switching between the two (unrelated) cases a bit distracting. It would have been better to put them into two separate books. Also the end of one of the cases was unsatisfying for me.

Quotes from the book

"The last time I saw my father was twenty-three years ago, and he was battering blood and snot out of my mother."

"Flattery and bullshit smell exactly the same. I don't fall for either."

"Sometimes I wonder how that one manages to get up in the morning, wi' the little brain he's got."

"You never dismiss anything, until you've disproved it, or you're in neglect of your duty as an investigator."

"Garrett paid his taxes and didn't get into trouble so we had no dealings with him till he got his head blown off."

Where the centre of Garrett's forehead should have been, there was a dark jagged hole, speckled with white dots, which he knew had to be bone fragments.

"The way my guys read it the shooter just walked in through the back door, which wasn't locked, pulled out a cannon and shot him through the back of the skull, spreading his fucking brains all over the malted milk and cookies."

"There's two things in this life I don't like; small boats and looking at dead bodies. From time to time, I have to do the one, and I'll fucking well do the other if it's necessary. Not liking is a human feeling; not doing is a human weakness."

"I told him he should go to hospital; he told me I should go to hell."

[...] better to be economical with the truth than to bend it.

"Start thinking with your policeman's brain, son, and not with your dick. You slept with her, so she can't be a murderer. Is that what you're saying?"

[...] the body lay on its back, staring upwards through sockets whose eyes had been supplanted by a mass of yellow movement.

"The poor old doctor probably thought he was in it for half a million, but all he got was a bullet in the back and maggots in his eyes."

She was in a rage the like of which he had never seen before, not from her, and rarely from anyone else. Sometimes he had wondered what it would be like if his wife ever lost the self-control which, alongside her talent, was one of her twin trademarks. Now he knew; he could see the result, and, big and tough as he was, it scared him.

"You look like death warmed up in the micro."

"I could have made him dead, but you could say I've done worse. He isn't a pursuer any more; I've made him a target. He's got two choices. Either he takes a big risk and tries to bargain for his life with that envelope, probably not even knowing what's in it, or he takes a big risk and runs. Either way he'll never know anything but fear for as long or as short as he lives."