From Publishers Weekly
Harrod-Eagles's 12th Bill Slider mystery (after 2008's Game Over
) offers a familiar plot. When the strangled corpse of nearly 17-year-old Zellah Wilding, a star student at St. Margaret's, an excellent all-girls church school, is discovered in a London park near her home, Slider and his team investigate. The suspects, all stock characters, include Wilding's overprotective and repressed father; Ronnie Oates (aka the Acton Strangler), who was just released from prison after a series of convictions for indecent assault; and Wilding's secret boyfriend. Few will be shocked when it turns out the victim led a less than exemplary life. The punning or joking chapter titles (Salmon-Chanted Evening, You Must Remember This; A Kiss Is Still a Coordinated Interpersonal Labial Spasm) may appeal to some, but others will find the humor at odds with the grim reality of police homicide work. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Harrod-Eagles’ Bill Slider series is one of the better British police-procedural series around, perfectly capturing the conflicts, dangers, frustrations, and satisfactions of modern police work and showcasing Slider as a captivating hero, with his appealing mix of ruthlessness, common sense, and empathy. His latest case involves the brutal murder of 16-year-old Zellah Wilding, whose strangled body is found, dressed in tart’s clothing, near Wormwood Scrubs prison. But Zellah was a bright, gifted student, a talented artist and musician respected by her teachers and peers, so how did she come to such a brutal and ignominious end? As Slider investigates, he learns that Zellah’s life was full of conflicts and secrets, from her strict father, who refused to let her date, to her “posh” friends, to the leather-jacketed secret boyfriend who claimed Zellah was a sex maniac. Readers will find themselves gripped from first page to last by the complex characters, keep-’em-guessing plot, surprising twists, and—most of all—by the multifaceted Slider. --Emily Melton