Detective Chief Inspector Harry Brock and the officers of London’s Serious Crime Group West (Whiplash, 2004, etc.) ask who murdered the showgirl who strutted her stuff as successfully offstage as on.
It’s as clear that the floater opposite the Houses of Parliament didn’t drown as that she wasn’t running for office. But who used a length of electrical cord to help Patricia Hunter make her quietus and then dumped her body into the Thames? First signs point to Bruce Phillips, the fugitive from Australian justice who paid her fine when he was convicted of shoplifting, evidently because he was running her as part of a stable of call girls catering, in Ison’s most amusing sequence, to such embarrassed worthies as an MP and a Church of England cleric. Periodically, however, the squad’s conscientious inquiries turn up a new suspect—Patricia’s boyfriend Peter Crawford, her other boyfriend Jeremy Payne, computer sales rep Geoffrey Forman, his partner Barbara Clark—whose bona fides must duly be checked through a series of sometimes probing, sometimes blundering questions. Unfortunately, there’s too little doubt who strangled Patricia Hunter, and too little explanation how and why.
Worst of all, two of the most promising clues in the case turn into dead ends airily dismissed with the observation that “real police work” doesn’t necessarily involve “tying up all the loose ends.” Below average for Brock and his mates.