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Hidden in Plain Sight: A Detective William Warwick Novel

Review

Hidden in Plain Sight: A Detective William Warwick Novel

Tony Bennett is famously noted for stating that truly creative people don’t stop being so as they get older; they get better. Exhibit A in support of that proposition would be Jeffrey Archer.

While he has engaged in a number of careers over the course of his interesting life, Archer did not begin what has become an extremely successful vocation as a man of letters until his mid-30s. He celebrated his 80th birthday in 2020 and shows no signs of slowing down, having introduced a new character to his literary universe last year in the form of Detective William Warwick of Scotland Yard. The newly published HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT is the second of what will be three police procedural novels featuring Warwick and finds Archer upping his already considerable game with this trilogy in progress.

"HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT is complete in itself but leads into the third volume, with enough issues dangling that one can only hope that it is not an entire year before the next installment in this fine series is published."

The book opens with Warwick, known as “Choirboy” to his unit, being promoted to Detective Sergeant and transferred to the drugs squad. Life seems perfect for Warwick, both personally and professionally, as he is engaged to the wondrous Beth, who seems to be an ideal match for him. However, problems abound within the “plain sight” of the title. Miles Faulkner --- Warwick’s nemesis from NOTHING VENTURED, the first entry in the series --- is an extremely wealthy and brilliant criminal mastermind whose ability to skate exceeds Hans Brinker, at least as far as paying for his misdeeds with serious imprisonment is concerned. Faulkner’s ongoing freedom is certainly a burr under Warwick’s saddle, and it manifests itself throughout the book as each man jockeys for position. Warwick uses an acquaintance from his past to gain an advantage over Faulkner, with somewhat mixed results.

Meanwhile, Warwick’s squad is tasked with bringing down a mysterious and powerful drug lord known only as “The Viper.” Nothing about the individual, from their name and residence to the location of their drug processing plant, is known to the police, so they are literally building their case from the ground up. Plenty of ups and downs and twists and turns occur as Warwick attempts to accomplish his goals, and things are still playing out for Warwick on the domestic front right up to the novel’s last page and beyond.

Those encountering Warwick for the first time here may find the first few pages to be a bit bouncy. Archer throws readers right into the pool, so to speak, by bringing in his supporting characters quickly and with little explanation while also introducing one or two new ones. However, things sort out fast enough, and the plotting sweeps one up and moves right along so that this slight shortcoming can be easily forgiven.

HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT is complete in itself but leads into the third volume, with enough issues dangling that one can only hope that it is not an entire year before the next installment in this fine series is published.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on November 6, 2020

Hidden in Plain Sight: A Detective William Warwick Novel
by Jeffrey Archer

  • Publication Date: November 3, 2020
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • ISBN-10: 1250200784
  • ISBN-13: 9781250200785