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Fell Purpose (Detective Inspector Slider Mystery) Paperback – February 20, 2014
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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. --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
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 --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
Top customer reviews
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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.
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'.