If everyone so loved Melanie, how come she’s lying dead in the park?
Everyone who knew Melanie admired her, at least until DI Bill Slider began asking around. Then it turns out that her mum’s recent relationship with her had turned tetchy. Her stepdad may have slapped her around. Her live-in boyfriend was furious that she kept refusing his marriage proposals. And her downstairs neighbor, prickly Mr. Fitton, declines to comment on drinking with her at the pub. Was he obsessed with her and guilty of murdering her, just as he killed his own wife for her sexual misconduct? Slider and his coppers at London’s Shepherd’s Bush nick can’t puzzle out why Melanie left her house with only her keys and a Chinese takeaway and wound up dead shortly thereafter. The stepdad, the boyfriend and the neighbor all have alibis that eventually explode. Slider, left to dig into Melanie’s past for old traumas, learns that she never recovered from her father’s death in a major train collision years before. Putting the pieces of Melanie’s life back together brings another suspect to the surface, but a false confession will have to be debunked, a bit of insurance fraud uncovered and a bit of white dog hair used as evidence to reveal what turned poor Melanie into a victim.
If you’re unlucky enough to be murdered, pray that DI Slider (Body Line, 2011, etc.) is handed your case. And if he ever comes on the marriage market again, get in line for a chance at him.