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A new case for Abbotsburn's Detective-Superintendent George Rogers, presaged by a vague, anonymous note to the police about a violent death to come--which happens soon after with the car bombing of Andrew Lattimer in a remote area of the nearby moors, witnessed only by a pair of elderly walkers. Lattimer had recently been deserted by his mercenary, fickle wife Audrey, who seems to have disappeared. Prosperous landowner Roger Jervaise, one of her lovers, is a prime suspect; but Lattimer's brother Philip and sisters Kirstin and Drusilla are sure their deeply despised sister-in-law is the killer--until she surfaces, complete with alibi and yet another lover. Meanwhile, Lattimer's employers at the loan company where he worked are hiding something, but all leads are dead-ends until Jervaise is found murdered one morning on the grounds of his estate. Rogers finds all his answers in the solution to that killing, and winds up an ingenious plot that's nearly smothered beneath the author's garrulous, long-winded style. Ross has escaped his prolix tendencies on occasion (A Rattling of Old Bones). It would have been gratifying to fans of the British police procedural to see that happen again.

Pub Date: Nov. 14th, 1988
Publisher: St. Martin's