THE VIEW FROM DEACON HILL by Jack S. Scott

THE VIEW FROM DEACON HILL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Another sardonic, rather archly humorous case for ape-like Detective-Sergeant Rosher--and, as in previous no-mystery books, Scott divides his attention fairly equally between Rosher's gallumphing sleuthing and the desperate maneuvers of the assorted crooks and bystanders. The investigation begins when Rosher (while oafishly playing tour-guide to a visiting American cop) presents the view from Deacon Hill. . . and sees, far below, some confusing, violent funny business involving a van and a car. And indeed two dead bodies are later turned up in a car nearby. . . but no van. So Rosher goes looking for that van, while Scott fills in the bad-guy details: the murders were the accidental result of a love-triangle falling-out among thieves--thieves who now must avoid all connection with the killings, especially since they're about to bring off a super-heist (during the town's carnival). The villains kidnap all witnesses to the crime; Rosher closes in on the weakest of the gang, a callow, well-born mama's boy; and Scott fills out the thin story with a rather irrelevant closeup of the visiting American cop's rocky marriage and boozy wife. All in all, a definite improvement over the pretensions of The Gospel Lamb; but Scott's over-tricky plotting and heavily sarcastic tone (more than a little misogynistic) continue to be problems, while his sharply amusing dialogue and strong character sketches continue to generate a certain dark, offbeat appeal.

Pub Date: July 15th, 1981
Publisher: Ticknor & Fields/ Houghton Mifflin