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JUSTICE DEFERRED by Jeffrey Ashford

JUSTICE DEFERRED

By Jeffrey Ashford

Pub Date: March 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7278-8100-7
Publisher: Severn House

Was sorely used Elaine Cane behind her unmourned husband’s fatal fall from an internal balcony?

No one but the CID would blame her if she was. An aneurism had turned John Cane into an abusive drinker, and a threatened lawsuit had brought his security-systems company to the brink of collapse. If it hadn’t been for a fat life-insurance policy, the much younger wife he’d tussled with physically hours before his death would have been left destitute. But at least she wouldn’t have been alone—not if it had been up to Mike Linton, the painter Cane had hired to create a portrait of his wife. The whole setup looks too convenient to DS Bill Hopkins, DC Brian Morgan and Constable Tristram Lewis, and after several rounds of increasingly pointed questioning, Elaine is arrested for manslaughter. Although it’s clear that she and Linton are indeed in love, both the widow and the painter, who specializes in gamey nudes commissioned by men’s magazines, swear that nothing improper has passed between them. As the net tightens around Elaine anyway, Linton, frantic to help her, hatches the 11th-hour idea of providing her with an alibi, setting up a courtroom showdown and an ethical dilemma for an unexpected character.

Suspenseful but slender work from veteran Ashford (Criminal Innocence, 2010, etc.) that could pass for an episode of Law & Order: Surbiton.