Death Watch: An Inspector Bill Slider Mystery Hardcover – Feb 1993
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From Library Journal
Grim reality and intimations of immortality confront London detectives Slider and Atherton when they respond to the arson murder of a womanizing salesman. The victim, a deceptive man of failing business, marriage, and personal aspirations, serves as a foil to Slider (himself unhappily married) and ladies' man Atherton, who bounce theories off each other as they gather information and suspects. This sturdy follow-up to Orchestrated Death ( LJ 1/92) features realistic characters, dry wit, and surprising plot twists. See also the review of Harrod-Eagles's Fleur on p. 165.--Ed.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The body might or might not have been suicide and Slider's superiors with the Police are pressuring him to call it suicide - thus saving valuable budget dollars. Slider isn't so keen to do that - there are too many anomalies in the case. The body proves to be that of a known lothario, Richard (Dick) Neal and as usual there are suspects aplenty to be interviewed and eliminated. However a stranger and more sinister pattern starts to show up - what is happening to the members of the Red Watch which manned Shaftesbury Street Fire Station in the 1970's?
Meanwhile Slider's marriage is coming apart and his affair with Joanna is deepening. This part I find hard to understand - Joanna's patience with him - Slider's vacillations. It doesn't convince me really. In fact I find Slider's personal life a bit of a jarring distraction to the main story.
I do like the way the story unfolds and things that are significant are often revealed early on but are only glaringly obvious in the last few pages. I do think Harrod-Eagles can write a great mystery. This is the second book in the Bill Slider mystery series, by the way - the first is Orchestrated Death.
In this book Slider is struggling personally with his disintegrating marriage even as he investigates the death of a womanizing traveling salesman, Dick Neal, whose body was discovered in a compromising position in a burning motel cabin. Murder or Suicide? His superior's superior would plump for suicide-- much cheaper and makes their crime solution numbers look better. Slider, though, has his doubts about this; and with the assistance of his boss, Dixon, he continues to investigate the dead man.
Finally the case is connected with prior cases, two definitely murder. But what is the connection between the men involved?
The book contains loads of puns-- Harrod-Eagles has a real talent for slipping them in along with sly literary allusions. The relationship between the various members of the police force is intriguing and fills the space between the detecting nicely.
If adultery by the good guys makes you twitch you might want to avoid this one, but otherwise recommended for police procedural fans and those who enjoy a good pun.