CLOSE QUARTERS by Clare Curzon


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 Another baffling case for Superintendent Mike Yeadings and his Thames Valley team (Fast Mischief, 1996, etc.)--Detective Sergeants Beaumont and newly promoted Rosemary Zyczynski, augmented this time by out-of-district, heartily disliked Inspector Jenner. A woman's corpse has been found on the riverbank in Mardham village--40ish, strangled, and unknown to any of the villagers closely questioned by Yeadings's officers. Among these are pretty music student Gayle Dawson, who'd been frightened by a stalker the previous night on her way home from the railroad station; her sharp-eyed landlady Olive George; elderly May Snelling and her hulking, dim-witted son Harry. Nearby are suave lawyer Donald Field, his rich, society- minded wife Phyllida, and their teenage twins--clownish Colin and quiet Rachel. Their next-door neighbors are physician Stanley Goodwin, a man tortured by ill health and by the affair his wife Meredith is blatantly conducting with Donald Field. Meredith's bachelor brother Malcolm Barrow lives with them. The interviews with all of those, and many others, are unproductive at first, but the corpse is finally identified as Sheena Chadwick, a London prostitute whose estranged husband's van has been seen in the vicinity. As it develops, Sheena's murder is but the first in a series that will tax Yeadings's instincts and expertise to the max. A tightly constructed village procedural, well up to the author's standards for byzantine plotting, solidly realized characters, and a steady flow of suspenseful incident. A treat for fans of the genre; the heavily detailed, sometimes tedious police workings may be a minus for others.

Pub Date: Feb. 7th, 1997
ISBN: 0-312-15079-2
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1997


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