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Hard Going (A Bill Slider Mystery) Paperback – February 15, 2015
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*Starred Review* The always-reliable Harrod-Eagles pulls another rabbit out of the hat with her latest Bill Slider crime story. The plot is distinctive and well structured, the descriptions of plodding police work authentic-seeming, and the characters colorful, but it’s the repartee and the laugh-aloud dark humor that sets this book apart from other procedurals. Slider is called to investigate the brutal murder of Lionel Bygood, who has been beaten to death with a gold statuette from his own mantelpiece. According to those who knew him, Bygood was a kind, gentle, cultured, generous man who went out of his way to help the unfortunate. So who would kill such a wonderful person? The neighbors didn’t see anything unusual on the day of the murder, nothing seems to have been stolen, and there are almost no clues or leads; but Slider isn’t one to give up, and as he delves into Bygood’s past, he uncovers a few skeletons that could just lead him to the killer. As usual, a tour de force of character-driven crime writing from genre master Harrod-Eagles. --Emily Melton --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“As usual, a tour de force of character-driven crime writing from genre master Harrod-Eagles” (Booklist Starred Review)
“Harrod-Eagles continues to entertain with this well-plotted, gracefully written procedural series” (Publishers Weekly)
"Believable protagonists, a diverse ensemble cast, and contemporary issues. Her knack for making the supporting characters stand out is particularly notable" (Library Journal Starred Review)
"Levelheaded DI Slider returns in a satisfying balance of bullpen banter, lively characterization and thorough detection" (Kirkus Reviews)
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As usual with her books, Harrod-Eagles uses beautiful prose, and the plot follows a clear path to the denouement.
Although Slider and his fellow detectives are always trying to solve a murder, the author does not wallow in the gore, and she is too good a writer to depend on horror and shock tactics.
I also enjoy the clever puns and sly allusions.
The anxiety her readers endured while waiting to see if Bill and Joanna would find a way out of their financial and accommodation difficulties was finally laid to rest, but not until the last couple of pages, which kept the reader in suspense.
I would certainly recommend this book to friends and family, though I think they should read the earlier books in the series first.