STONE DEAD by Frank Smith


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 Photographer Peter Foster, enraged at finding his live-in model Lisa Remington in bed with her estranged husband, fashion designer Sean Merrick, unloaded a twelve-gauge shotgun at her and dumped her body into a well on the Bracken Cottage grounds. But the crime never would have been discovered if a pair of burglars hadn't inadvertently led Chief Inspector Neil Paget's men to the well and its grisly contents. Now that he's got the case, though, Paget soon finds that nothing about it is as it seems. The body in Foster's well isn't Lisa Remington; it isn't even, despite Foster's identification, Sean Merrick. So instead of arresting Foster for a murder he concealed, understated Paget digs deeper into the mystery of the murdered man's identity, even while Sgt. John Tregalles wonders where Lisa Remington has got to; what Crazy Eric Tyson, Foster's neighbor, saw that's made him so agitated; and who might be stalking Tregalles's own school-age daughter Olivia, calling her ``Wendy.'' As the intimate clutch of suspects accuse one another and excuse themselves, Paget and his squad (Fatal Flaw, 1996) patiently sift through lie after lie till the killer's run out of stories. Sterling goods for lovers of the British procedural, with a snakelike mystery that's still twisting and turning minutes before the final fadeout.

Pub Date: March 20th, 1998
ISBN: 0-312-18186-8
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1998


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