DEATH WATCH by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles


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 A second case for CID man Bill Slider (Orchestrated Death) and sidekick Atherton finds them surveying the burned-out remains of a room at the Master Baker Motor Lodge, rented by ``John Smith,'' now deceased, half-charred, and with ligature marks around his neck and some painfully kinky-looking wire-trussing about his genitals. Despite instructions to write it off as suicide, Slider stays with it and identifies the victim as Dick Neal, a salesman for Omniflamme fire-prevention devices and a former firefighter himself. Tricky Dickie collected women: a wife who turned a blind eye to his affairs; a secretary who wanted to marry him; a university lecturer who had his child; and the redheaded tart last seen with him at Gorgeous George's saloon. There were also sessions with the wives of his current best friend and his former best friend, Gil, who died years back in a fire. Could Dick have saved Gil? Curiously, all but two of their firefighting brigade have died peculiarly. While Slider and Atherton sort through motives, alibis, and red herrings, Slider is also given an ultimatum by his lover, violinist Joanna: Divorce his wife or their affair is over. Solid British procedural, and the romantic convolutions of Slider and Joanna bring to mind Frances Fyfield's Helen West and Geoffrey Bailey. (The latest entry in Harrod-Eagles's historical saga--Fleur--appeared on p. 1396.)

Pub Date: Feb. 3rd, 1993
ISBN: 0-684-19519-4
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Scribner
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1992


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