From Publishers Weekly
Superintendent Mike Yeadings (Nice People, 1995, etc.) returns with his team to investigate murder in the tidy English village of Mardham. The day after a music student escapes a stalker on her way home from the train, a watchman finds the body of a London prostitute who has been strangled and had her hair chopped off. The investigation turns up the usual unsavory doings in suburbia?alcoholism, adultery, malice and troubled teenagers?but only one suspect, a young man named Harry Snelling. Large and gentle and burdened by special problems, Snelling has only recently moved to the area; he likes to roam the woods behind the suburban homes at night to escape from his overprotective mother. Since Yeadings has a child with Down Syndrome and Detective Inspector Jenner, also on the case, has a reputation for mishandling the mentally handicapped, the stage is set for a dramatic and enlightening confrontation. Unfortunately, the plot lurches to a second stalking, a second death that turns out to be suicide and a third murderous attack, concluding only after two more deaths. Mere shadows of their former selves, the police move clumsily from one incident to the next, trying to work around the unwanted Jenner. Weighted down with too many crimes, too many characters and too many confusing shifts in point of view, the novel will be a disappointment to Curzon's fans.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Thames Valley Detective Mike Yeadings and his team of top-notch coppers face their most perplexing case yet when the mutilated body of an unidentified, attractive blond turns up in the sleepy village of Markham. A brutal but random murder is Yeadings' first take. But when another blond student is attacked soon afterwards, Yeadings and his team start thinking serial killer. Laboring to turn up clues, they begin to discover unsavory details of village life, from nasty teenage pranks to simmering adultery. The murder case seems to have adversely affected the whole village, raising new tensions, inflaming passions, and resurrecting old quarrels. Then a local physician is found dead, throwing a monkey wrench into Yeadings' serial-killer theory. A carefully constructed, smoothly written police procedural that also provides intriguing insights into human emotions and motivations. Emily Melton