Barry Maitland books in order
Barry Maitland is a British-born Australian author of mystery and crime fiction novels.
Born in Paisley, Scotland, he studied architecture at Cambridge University, and urban design at the University of Sheffield, teaching at the latter.
Although he discovered his passion for literature during his schoolboy days after being inspired by his English teacher, it wasn't until his wife was almost killed in an earthquake in Newcastle that Barry started thinking about a plot of a murder mystery, one that would ultimately give rise to The Marx Sisters (1994).
In the year 2000, he retired from the University of Newcastle in Australia in order to focus on his fiction writing, having joined the institution in 1984 as the head of the architecture school.
Now a full-time writer, Barry lives and writes from a tiny town in the Hunter Valley, a picturesque region in New South Wales renowned for its vineyards and stunning agricultural landscapes.
Genres: Crime Suspense, Mystery
- Bright Air (2008)
- Crucifixion Creek (2014)
- Ash Island (2015)
- Slaughter Park (2017)
Brock and Kolla
- The Marx Sisters (1994)
- The Malcontenta (1995)
- All My Enemies (1996)
- The Chalon Heads (1998)
- Silvermeadow (2000)
- Babel (2002)
- The Verge Practice (2003)
- No Trace (2004)
- Spider Trap (2006)
- Dark Mirror (2009)
- Chelsea Mansions (2011)
- The Raven's Eye (2013)
- The Promised Land (2019)
- The Russian Wife (2021)
Detailed book overview
She stood panting on the narrow ledge, pressing herself back against the hard surface of the rock, and heard a voice, far below, calling her name. She tried to answer, but her throat was parched and no sound came. They had heard the stone, clattering down the cliff to the sea, and now they knew where she was...
Secrets, lies and a deathbed confession lead to a deadly, dangerous trail. On a cliff-face in New Zealand, two men fall to their deaths. Four years before, another member of the same close group of university climbing friends, the bright and beautiful Luce, disappeared - supposedly in a climbing accident.
As the circle of friends dwindles, two of the surviving members of the group, Luce's ex-lover Josh and best friend Anna, see a new significance in her death. In an attempt to uncover the truth, Josh and Anna follow the trail to Lord Howe Island, where they begin to suspect an island-wide conspiracy to hide what really happened. Had Luce uncovered a dangerous secret - one that was still worth killing for?
A meth-addicted biker shoots a woman during a police siege. An elderly couple commit suicide on the terrace of their favorite café. An unidentified white male is stabbed to death in the street.
For Sydney homicide detective Harry Belltree, not long out of the military and a grueling tour of Afghanistan, these three deaths appear to be just another day at the office. Until, that is, he identifies the stabbing victim as his own brother-in-law Greg, and journalist Kelly Pool suggests there's a link between the three incidents. It seems Greg and the old couple had ties to the same man, a corrupt money man with a murky past and friends in both high places and low.
Harry Belltree can't get officially involved in Greg's murder, but he's not going to leave it in the hands of others. That's when he goes off-grid to investigate the links between these deaths. That's when things start to get dangerous.
Detective Sergeant Harry Belltree, back on the job after a near-fatal confrontation with corrupt colleagues, has become a departmental embarrassment. The solution is a posting away from Sydney and a quiet life in Newcastle.
Or maybe not so quiet. A body’s been found buried just offshore on Ash Island; there may be more. There's also Harry's unfinished business. The car crash that killed his parents and blinded his wife happened not far from Newcastle. And Harry knows it was no accident.
The other unfinished business is Jenny's longed-for pregnancy. Which means that now the stakes are higher than ever.
Harry Belltree’s obsessive pursuit of justice has cost him everything—his job in homicide, his marriage and his newborn child. He has nothing left to lose, or so he thinks. Then his estranged wife disappears, leaving their baby daughter behind.
The police think Jenny has murdered a man.
Harry thinks she’s in danger.
When severed limbs are found dangling from the branches of trees in a suburban park, Harry’s former colleagues are pulled off Jenny’s case. It’s up to Harry to track his missing wife down on his own.
And to lay bare, at last, the extraordinary conspiracy that led to his parents’ murder.
Brock and Kolla
Meet the team of Detective Chief Inspector David Brock and Detective Sergeant Kathy Kolla, with Kathy a neophyte to Scotland Yard. Her first case was one for the books. Meredith Winterbottom, a great-granddaughter of Karl Marx and a longtime resident of Jerusalem Lane—a Dickensian section of London inhabited by Eastern European immigrants—is found dead in her apartment.
Along with her two sisters and other Lane residents, she had been seeing red over a real estate developer’s plan to gentrify their neighborhood. Six months after Meredith’s death, a second sister is murdered. Are they victims of money-hungry developers or were they killed for the politics of another age? And why would David Brock, a notorious curmudgeon, assign himself to help Kathy on a relatively small case?
As Kathy and Brock delve into the Lane’s eccentric melting pot, they find unknown letters from Marx to Engels, a possible fourth volume of Das Kapital, a long list of suspects ranging from Meredith’s shady son to a Princeton professor and a Polish veteran of World War II—and a plot to make Kathy’s first case her last.
Kathy is on temporary assignment away from London with the Family and Juvenile Crime division. Desperate to escape the second-rate duties assigned to her, she jumps at the chance to investigate the unnatural death of a young physiotherapist at an exclusive local naturopathic spa.
Very soon it becomes clear that the apparent suicide is fraught with complications. Is a cover-up taking place to protect the reputations of wealthy clients? Or was the cause of death really suicide?
Taken off the case before she has the chance to discover the truth, Kathy turns to Brock for help. But when Brock poses as a client, they both learn that spas are not always good for your health—especially if you’re a target for murder.
Just before Kolla is to start her new job, a young woman is found viscously murdered in a leafy, well-heeled suburb, and the grotesque details of the slaughter appear to be well-rehearsed, even theatrical. Assigned to the case, Kolla's only improbable lead draws her to a local amateur drama group. Once in their orbit, she is lured into a piece of theatre over which, increasingly, she has little control.
David Brock and Kathy Kolla are summoned to Cabot’s, a venerable dealer in rare stamps on the Strand, and at first, they expect a simple case of theft and a pleasant digression from the usual sort of murderous wrongdoing they encounter in the Serious Crime Branch of Scotland Yard. But the case they confront is twistier and far more unsettling than they could have imagined.
An unsavory figure from Brock’s past, slippery East-Ender Sammy Starling, aka Sammy China, is in deep trouble and asking for Brock’s help. It seems Sammy’s young wife has been kidnapped; but the strange part is that the ransom notes are decorated with rare and valuable Chalon Head stamps of the young Queen Victoria—to whom Sammy’s wife bears an uncanny resemblance. Sammy is convinced a corrupt cop he once helped put in jail is behind the kidnapping. But Sammy has made a living from fraud and deceit: why should Brock and Kolla trust anything he says?
Two Cases. One location. The first case, a girl gone missing, seems a decidedly local affair. The second, the return of a violent criminal who had fled the country, instantly attracts the interest of Scotland Yard and Detective Inspector David Brock.
When he learns that his longtime nemesis, the amphetamine-juiced killer and thief known as “Upper” North, may have surfaced, Brock assembles his team and summons Detective Sergeant Kathy Kolla. Their manhunt centers on Silvermeadow, the supermall on the outskirts of London where North was spotted. Brock and Kolla camouflage their search for North by taking on the case of the missing girl—a mall employee. They lie in wait, hoping to catch North before he can strike with a new crime.
Yet what should they make of rumors of other young girls disappearing from Silvermeadow? Is there a predator on the loose within the apparent safety of a carefully orchestrated aura of order and control? Very quickly, the mall itself—and its colorful cast of characters—becomes key to the dual investigations. This is Maitland at his cunning best.
Kathy Kolla and David Brock, Scotland Yard’s brilliant and unconventional crime-solving team, take on an unsettling new mystery that touches many sensitive issues: Arab fundamentalism, genetic engineering, and murder.Following her ordeal in the stakeout at the Silvermeadow supermall, Detective Sergeant Kathy Kolla is on leave, so haunted by past events that she is tempted to quit the force for good.
Hearing about this puzzling new case makes her realize that nothing can keep her out of the game for too long. Professor Max Springer, a distinguished if controversial academic, has been brutally murdered on the steps of a London university. Springer was known for his stand against Islamic extremism, but was that motive enough to kill him?
While Kolla and Brock start looking for answers in London’s Arab community, rivalries within the university point in another direction, and Springer’s colleague, a professor of medical genetics, becomes involved. Is he as troubling a figure as he seems? Meanwhile, why would somebody leak information about this critical investigation to the media, risking an explosion in the streets? In this taut and satisfying mystery, Barry Maitland proves once again that he is one of the masters of police procedural writing today.
Kathy Kolla and David Brock, Scotland Yard’s superlative detective duo, take on a puzzling case in the posh world of big-name international architecture, and it has them chasing red herrings and hopping fences from London to Barcelona.
Charles Verge, a powerful, cutting-edge architect, has disappeared into the blue, leaving behind his firm; his beloved—and pregnant—daughter; and his young and very dead wife. The case is stalled, and, after months of fruitless searching leaves the authorities desperate to save face, Detective Chief Inspector Brock and Detective Sergeant Kolla are called in.
All of London is abuzz with questions about the high-profile case, which will send Kolla and Brock to some less-than-scenic locales in Barcelona, and back to their own stomping ground—where suspicion of internal corruption comes much closer to home than they would like. As the investigation uncovers a dizzying web of possible suspects—including an ex-con gardener, a sinister doctor, and the missing Verge himself—it will reveal more than one crack in the shiny windows of the Verge practice’s sleek façade.
In a London neighborhood known for its artists and bohemian style, six year old Tracey Rudd is abducted from her home without any warning, or sign of violence. She is the third child abducted under similar circumstances in recent weeks.
But this case is different. She is the daughter of notorious contemporary artist Gabriel Rudd, best known for the grotesque "Dead Puppies," a work centered around his wife's suicide five years earlier. While Rudd exploits Tracey's abduction as an inspiration for a major new work in his upcoming exhibit, D.C.I. David Brock and Detective Sergeant Kathy Kolla hunt for the missing girls' kidnapper, who is suspiciously connected to the eccentric community of artists, dealers, and collectors in the neighborhood.
When human bones are discovered in Cockpit Lane, a poor area of inner south London, D.C.I. David Brock and D.S. Kathy Kolla of Scotland Yard are called in to investigate. The first twist in the case comes when Brock and Kolla learn that the victims died over twenty years ago, during the Brixton riots, information that leads the two of them on a dangerous journey into the heart of the West Indian community in London.
Making matters worse, a formidable old antagonist, Spider Roach, returns, weaving together past and present in an intricate web of deception and intrigue. Now the two have to uncover the truth of those long ago deaths, and be able to prove it with a crucial piece of evidence, in order to prevent the violence of the past from revisiting itself on them.
A student in the Reading Room of the London Library, Marion Summers, suddenly goes into a seizure, then slips into a coma and then dies. But what first appears to be a simple tragedy, is soon revealed to be much more sinister.
During the autopsy, it's determined that she actually died of acute arsenic poisoning. Brought to the attention of the Serious Crime Unit of Scotland Yard, the newly promoted Detective Inspector Kathy Kolla, with the help of her superior, DCI David Brock, investigate the mysterious Summers, leading them to suspect her death was related to unexplained and unusual aspects of her recent life.
The more they investigate, the more confounding the mystery becomes and more the clear it is that behind what really happened - and why - lies the most difficult-to-crack case Kolla and Brock have ever faced.
The annual Chelsea Flower Show in London is tainted by the murder of an American tourist in what appears to be a random act of violence. It is quickly discovered that the killer avoided having both his face and his escape captured on any of the many closed-circuit cameras in the area. What originally seemed a senseless crime was in fact a carefully planned murder.
But how could a retired widow be worth the trouble of such an elaborate killing? When a wealthy Russian oligarch is killed in his estate near the hotel of the murdered tourist, the detectives suspect that this case is even more complicated than it appears.
The trail leads Scotland Yard detectives DCI David Brock and DI Kathy Kolla as far abroad as the U.S. and deep into the past, where personal stakes are involved and all-but-forgotten secrets are the key to a string of bloody murders that are only just the beginning.
DCI David Brock and DI Kathy Kolla, of Scotland Yard, find themselves pulled into a case of murder, a mysterious death among the houseboats that line the canals around greater London.
DI Kathy Kolla of Scotland Yard is called in as a matter of course by the local Paddington police when a woman turns up dead in what appears to be an accident. On her houseboat, Vicky Hawks is found by one of her neighbors having apparently succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning due to improper ventilation of the narrowboat's heating system. But while the cause of death seems apparent and there's no reason for Kolla to think otherwise, something about this death still bothers her.
Meanwhile, her boss, DCI Brock, is wrestling with harsh budget cuts and a new Commander who is determined to make fundamental changes to the system―including limiting resources devoted to investigations. Struggling against the limitations imposed by the new order at Scotland Yard, Brock and Kolla find themselves pulling at the loose strings in the death of Vicky Hawks, trying to find out who she really was, what she was up to, and how her death might be related to another earlier tragic accidental death.
Newly promoted Detective Chief Inspector Kathy Kolla investigates a series of brutal murders on Hampstead Heath. Under intense pressure to find answers, she arrests the unlikely figure of Charles Pettigrew, a failing London publisher who lives alone on the edge of the Heath.
Pettigrew's lawyer calls on recently retired David Brock for advice, and soon, unable to resist the pull of investigation, the old colleagues, Brock and Kolla, are at loggerheads. At the heart of the gripping mystery of the Hampstead murders lies a manuscript of an unknown novel by one of the greatest literary figures of the 20th century. Brock believes that its story will unlock the puzzle, but how?
Fraud, forgery and murder, set in the high-stakes world of fine art.
When the Russian wife of the owner of one of the most valuable private collections of modern art in the UK is found dead, Detective Chief Inspector David Brock is drawn into a high-stakes world very different to his own. From the dealers and galleries in London's West End, his investigations take him to Hanover, Miami and New York on the trail of international forgery and fraud.
At the same time, his old colleague Detective Chief Inspector Kathy Kolla, who now leads one of the Metropolitan Police Murder Investigation teams, finds herself at the wrong end of a corruption charge. With her whole career in the balance, she will do almost anything to clear her name.