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Close Quarters: A Thames Valley Mystery [Large Print] [Hardcover]

Clare Curzon
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Dec 15 1996 Thames Valley Mysteries
Superintendent Mike Yeadings and his team of officers from the Thames River Valley Police Force are called in to investigate a savage murder.

When a woman's body is found along the river - strangled, her body mutilated, her blond hair hacked from her scalp - the sleepy village of Markham finds itself rudely awakened.

The murdered woman had no apparent ties to the village. But when a student barely escapes from a similar attack, the village must confront the frightening reality that a murderer has come to inhabit their quaint village home. Mike Yeadings and his Thames Valley team come to fear they are faced with a possible serial killer -- one with a penchant for blondes.

As the team races to track down the unknown woman's murderer before he strikes again, the village finds itself stirred to crimes of its own -- spiteful mischief, flaunted adultery, and the puzzling death of a respected country doctor.

The unsettled reaction of the village is echoed within Yeadings's team, where the detectives fume over the return of their own unwelcome outsider, D. I. Jenner.

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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.

From Booklist

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

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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars Aug. 14 2014
By JAW
Format:Paperback
Good mystery.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Mystery Nov. 2 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Clare Curzon is an underrated mystery writer. She really is very good at the British Police Procedural. Interesting plot, three dimensional characters. I highly recommend this series.
3.0 out of 5 stars Close Quarters Nov. 2 2010
By Sisyphussays - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
CLOSE QUARTERS is a good murder mystery--a cross between a procedural and a cozy taking place in an English village. It's nice to have a "Boss" cop who actually likes and respects his lower-ranking staff. No adversarial relationship for a change.
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