Top private eye Jack Morgan and his team are asked to catch a serial killer preying on businessmen at a hotel chain.

Meanwhile he faces pressure from his old sparring partner, mob boss Noccia, who wants him to recover a stolen lorry load of narcotics.

Then there's the case of a young film star, accused of sleeping with a teenage fan, who disappears with his equally young co-star.

But Jack faces an even bigger problem: his ex-girlfriend is found dead in his bed and police unsurprisingly make him the prime suspect.

The four plots run alongside each other at a swift pace in the fourth hardback outing for international detective agency Private.

This novel is a direct sequel to the first Private book -- with many of the same characters -- and it's a more satisfying read than its predecessor.

A couple of the sub-plots would have benefited from more meat on their bones, but the novel works well as a weekend diversion or to fill a long journey.

David Knights