Customer Reviews: Fell Purpose (Bill Slider Mysteries Book 12)
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VINE VOICEon December 2, 2009
First Sentence: Atherton was singing as he drove.

Zellah Wilding is smart, attends a very good school and has a strict father who tries to keep her on the right path and out of trouble. She is also pregnant and dead. Inspector Bill Slider and his team are out to find her killer.

With each new Bill Slider book, my love this series and CHE's writing is renewed. There is a great opening sentence and hook which immediately introduces some of the main characters and gives the reader a bit of their background and relationships.

With the book's opening sentence, I realized how much I had missed reading about these characters. The characters are all well-drawn and fully developed. But more than that, I appreciate that the Slider team like and respect each other. There are no anti-social, angst-driven acrimonious characters here. Lest you think this might make the characters boring, they are anything but.

One of my favorites is Porson, Sliders superior, who supports and respects his men, but can mangle phrases such as "It's the early day that catches the worm." And "There's more than one way to butter a parsnip." I think CHE must have enormous fun writing Porson's dialogue, but he is not a foolish character, and that takes particular skill. The dialogue is very well done. I occasionally am caught by a Britishism but can always figure them out. She does write in the dialect of the characters, which add realism and personality, but didn't slow down my reading.

The story provides the reader a strong sense of place. One thing I love about English mysteries is the history of England itself. In this case, the crime takes place at Wormwood Scrubs, a name I know from reading historical mysteries. Bits of area's histories are seamlessly intertwined into the story. London is not a city I know well, having been there only once for a short time, yet I always had a sense of where the characters were.

The story's plot was so well done. This is not another serial killer book, but a classic murder investigation. There is one murder of a young woman followed by focused police procedure to find the killer. What a nice change.

Cynthia Harrod-Eagles is one of those writers I feel should be much better know and more widely read. The book jacket compares Slider to John Harvey's Charlie Resnick. I don't know that I completely agree with the character comparison, but I would compare the quality of both author's writing. My only hope is that there will continue to be new Bill Slider books for many years to come.

FELL PURPOSE (Pol. Prod-Bill Slider-England-Cont) - Ex
Harrod-Eagles, Cynthia - 12th in series
Severn House, 2009, UK Hardcover - ISBN: 9780727868428
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on January 6, 2010
Cynthia Harrod-Eagles has created a wonderful character in Bill Slider and I have read all the books in the series. And while I certainly enjoyed Fell Purpose, there was one flaw (in my opinion) that annoyed me -- I spotted the murderer 100 pages before Inspector Slider did. Slider is a highly intelligent policeman and it is inconceivable that he did not pick up on the clues Harrod-Eagles dropped.
Nevertheless, this is a great series. While I think it is meant as a compliment that Harrod-Eagles is being compared with other mystery writers, I believe she stands on her own. Her description of scenes, her wonderful capture of characters with different personalities and her beautiful writing places her head and shoulders above any mystery writer writing today (again in my opinion).
Even though I believe it was a mistake for her to be so obvious early on who the murderer was, I look forward to her next Bill Slider mystery and the many more still to come.
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on May 9, 2015
Harrod-Eagles improves with each book and she is really good with a strong sense of humor. I have enjoyed a great many in the series by now and all were good. They aren't exactly cosies, but they are solid story telling, with the cops well characterized. No graphic violence, a very limited amount of expletives (which pleases me) and enough of Slider's own life to keep him interesting. There may be too many people with witty humor--it gets passed around a bit more than is likely, but it is enjoyable. As long as there are more in the series, I'll read them.
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VINE VOICEon March 2, 2010
The twelfth book in the Bill Slider series finds the Detective Inspector and his team from the Shepherd's Bush police station investigating the murder of a young girl, not quite seventeen years old, strangled with a pair of women's tights. There is no evidence of rape, but the crime is quite awful enough - Slider's own daughter is nearing that same age, and he can't help but relate to the horror her parents must now face.

When the parents are interviewed, an interesting scenario is presented: The mother wanted nothing more than for her daughter to attend the 'right' school and make a 'good' marriage, whereas the father wanted to keep her in a regimented lifestyle which would not expose her to the superficial and boy-crazed delights of her friends. She was a beautiful and apparently talented and brilliant young woman. But was she as innocent as her parents were convinced she was? The investigation ultimately turns up at least three viable suspects, but getting inside the head of this enigmatic victim to identify the man who killed her is not easily done.

The cops on Slider's team are, as always, wonderfully drawn characters, and I smiled when Superintendent Porson made his appearance, he of the mixed metaphors and endearing malapropisms, of whom the author says: "In his headlong and tempestuous battle with crime, and with life in general, Porson's way was to fling whatever words came first to hand in the general direction of meaning, and hope some of them stuck." Others are described as follows: One cop's coat "was so vast and long it looked as if it was taking him for a walk rather than vice versa. His massive and strangely bumpy bald head shone in the muted sunlight, a beacon of hope and a symbol of courage in adversity." Of another: "He was tall, and so thin he had to run around in the shower to get wet . . . People trusted him and told him things they wouldn't tell someone who looked more like a paid-up member of the human race," and interviews a woman "who was so dense that light bent around her." Yet another is described as "so slow, you should have your own time zone."

Despite the horrendous nature of the crime at the center of it, the book is nevertheless a pleasure to read. The author's descriptions of even the smallest scenes are letter-perfect, bringing them to life for the reader. It is another wonderful novel by Ms. Harrod-Eagles, and is highly recommended.
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on March 7, 2013
Full disclosure: One reason I love this book is because I grew up in West London, where this series of books is set. And I suspect the author is roughly my age too, which makes the cultural references easy for me to follow. The main character, DI Bill Slider is a real person, as are the members of his team, and they've developed nicely as the series has goner on. If you can stand certain words that your Kindle OED won't be able to define (due to their Britishness or just sheer rarities) and you like British mysteries - you'll enjoy this.
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on November 2, 2013
as usual Cynthia presents sharply observed scenes and dialogue, some of it pushing the narrative and some of it defining the characters. I do wonder that there is no TV series since this must be the most filmable series never filmed! Bill Slider continues as the slightly down at heel but effective copper!
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on July 28, 2010
Cynthia Harrod Eagles turns in another winner with this entry in the saga of Bill Slider and company.
The higher page count for this book(compared to the last one, 'Game Over') eliminates what I felt were some of the nitpicky issues with the previous story; here, the pacing is more leisurely, as with her previous novels, with the suspense building up to a suitable climax. Nothing is rushed or given short shrift, and the results should satisy both new readers and longtime fans.
The main plot has been done before in the series-Slider sympathizing with a teenaged murder victim-but Harrod-Eagles manages to find fresh insights and plot twists to sustain the reader's interest. All of her usual 'little touches' with the supprting cast are here; I like Hart better with each new story, and Atherton, Joanna, and even the now less-than 'syrup'y Porson all have their moments. The cast of likely suspects is suitably easy to root against, and, moreso this time than last, Harrod-Eagles comes up with a good suspenseful conclusion.
As usual, there's a hint of things to come at the end of the story, which should keep all fans of the series eagrerly anticipating the next entry.
Harrod-Eagles' charcters, stories, and settings are in just the right stage for me...comfortable and familiar, without being tired or boring. My worries that she was beginning to lose her touch, or just her interest, have been put to rest thanks to 'Fell Purpose'.
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on February 19, 2013
Am working my way through all of the Bill Slider book. They are a very good read and I have never managed to guess the identity of the criminal yet! I really have a hard time putting these Cynthia Harrod Eagles book down once I have started reading them. She is an exceptional author and I think she writes very well, keeps me entertained with her characters and plots.
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on June 28, 2014
12th in the series. Preceded by Game Over and followed by Body Line. A while back, ok a couple of years ago, I was working my way through all of the Bill Slider mysteries and somehow stopped with Game Over, then when I picked the series up again I started with Body Line. Having now caught up with the two most recent, I went back to fill this one in.

This is one of her books where she balances the investigation of the murder, the private lives of the investigators and the events leading up to the murder. The conversation between the investigators is witty, erudite and just plain fun. The characters relating to the murder are very well developed.

The body of a young girl was found on an open area near the site of the Bank Holiday Wormwood Scrubs Fair. The circumstances of her death and the statements of her friends are sharply contradicted by the picture of her presented by her parents and headteacher. So who killed her and why?

The only bit about this that I didn't really enjoy was the narrator, Terry Wale. He's pretty good when doing the male voices, but his portrayal of the female voices, especially young female voices, is not particularly believable. From other books I have listened to that he has narrated, I think he is getting worse as he gets older.
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on May 18, 2016
Good mystery writer and also has humour good read. Wish you would get more Bill Slider mysteries by Harrold-Eagles. The violence is more or less telling that someone was murdered. etc. not graphic.
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