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The Dreaming Detective: A Mystery Hardcover – November 11, 2004
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
From Publishers Weekly
Det. Supt. Harriet Martens (aka the Hard Detective) has a controlling new boss ("Mr. Newbroom"), a new and very cold case and the deck stacked against her in this solid police procedural from prolific British author Keating (A Detective Under Fire, etc.). There were seven possible suspects when Krishna Kumaramangalam, the Boy Preacher, was strangled to death in a Birchester hotel ballroom 30 years earlier. Despite the efforts of a top detective at the time, no conclusive evidence was uncovered. Harriet is tasked with applying DNA tests to the stored evidence and discreetly reinterviewing surviving suspects, each of whom offers intriguing possibilities. If she succeeds, her boss will claim credit; if she fails, for whatever good reason, Chief Constable Newbroom's bad opinion of her will appear confirmed. Not technology but old-fashioned police work applied with a fresh eye and Harriet's customary vigor turns out to be the key to solving the crime, whose closed-room aspects Keating adroitly handles. The final confrontation between Harriet and Mr. Newbroom will induce more than a few smiles.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Whatever his thoughts and beliefs, he charges her with finding the killer of a young preacher .. a crime that has been unsolved for 30 years. And he wants it solved within the next 2 weeks. The hotel where the preacher was murdered is being torn down at that time.
But being the 'nice' guy he is, the Chief Constable is giving her a helper .... a man who has suffered a mental breakdown and is 'all better' now.
Martens certainly has her hands full; no wonder that this case is finding its way into her dreams ..or nightmares.
There are plenty of suspects. Seven people were at the hotel at the time of the killing. Some had motives ..some didn't. Some are still alive ... some aren't.
Martens must now depend on forensics that weren't available at the time, but who knows what kind of shape the physical evidence is in. Hopefully DNA will point at the killer.
Martens is determined to save her job and solve the crime ... or die trying.
I actually like Harriet Martens better in this book than in The Hard Detective. She becomes more of a likeable person while showing her softer side in the relationship with her husband. Although she has problems with her assistant, she seems to interact with him in a less than volcanic fashion as she would normally.
In the real world of course, a superior officer would not be allowed to play these kinds of games with the detectives under his umbrella .. and especially would not hinder the abilities of the well-known reputation of the best detective around. But this is fiction .........
Many thanks to the author / Endeavour Press / NetGalley who provided a digital copy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
It certainly is a series the improves with each book - really kept my interest.
This book was provided to me in return for an honest and unbiased review
Newcomen claims that advances in sleuthing in the past three plus decades will prove fruitful if Harriet is capable of doing her job. While waiting for the results of DNA testing, Harriet reads a true crime book, "Who Killed the Preacher". Next she interviews the seven prime suspects who were the only people with access to the crime scene as the Hard Detective is not going to gently allow Mr. Newbroom to sweep her away.
Once the audience overcomes the regression of talent by placing a highly ranked and paid detective on a cold case for personal vendetta reasons, fans will enjoy this fine British police procedural. The story line moves at a fast pace as Harriet refuses to go down without a fight. Though Newcomen comes across as an officious media hound and his assignment ridiculous, fans will appreciate Harriet's efforts as her inquiries are top rate. Strong investigation, but the rationale for wasting time and money by using the top gun seems unreal.