Oxford University Biology Professor ‘Eddie’ Higgins is a veteran of student street demonstrations against environmental destruction and big business.
In his sixties Eddie is still an eccentric but passionate environmental activist well-known for his total disregard for personal appearance and finds himself acting as the ‘scientific adviser’ to a local company, Vital Cosmetics, run by its new and vivacious chief executive, Isobel Johnson. It doesn’t start well.
“Yours is an industry dogged by exaggerated claims, impossible claims and false claims,” he tells her.
The two are total opposites but ‘Eddie” is convinced there is something wrong with the way the company is being run and so, belatedly, does Isobel Johnson.
So, starts an investigation led by Mark Dobson from the small but high-tech international fraud investigators, Asher & Asher, and its new, young recruit, Ritchie Nolan, straight out of a north London drama school.
Ritchie, acting undercover as a street-wise racketeer Micky Parker, is sent to Thailand to infiltrate a Pattaya-based Chinese and Russian gang involved in counterfeiting, money-laundering, narcotics and credit card fraud.
Eddie Higgins and Isobel Johnson join in, flying to Malaysia to investigate Vital Cosmetics’ local agents and, by chance, meet up with an Italian, Pascale Perillo, whose own family business in Naples has also been targeted by the gang.
With the investigation moving between the UK, Thailand and Malaysia it is the relationship between the deeply passionate but unkempt Professor Higgins and the vivacious professional business woman Isobel Johnson, that forms a backdrop to the story. With “Eddie” strongly believing that vanity is a human weakness and to exploit ii for profit is in itself a crime, can the two ever work together, accept each other’s views and turn the company around?
Vendetta is the third in the Asher & Asher international crime series. with a new, younger face joining the team.