DEAD BEAT by Patricia Hall


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The creator of Yorkshire reporter Laura Ackroyd (Dead Reckoning, 2003, etc.) moves south to launch a new series featuring aspiring photographer Kate O’Donnell.

As the Mersey Beat rises in Liverpool, hordes of Scousers are leaving their hometown to seek their fortunes in London. First, Kate’s older brother Tom heads down to the Smoke, sending home no word of where he’s living. Then art-school grad Kate decides to try her luck, sleeping on the couch of friend Marie Best’s Notting Hill apartment and working a temporary gig at the Ken Fellows Picture Agency that she hopes will last past Christmas. Since the other photographers, all male, ignore her, she has plenty of time to meet Marie so that the two can show photos of Tom around Soho, the district where her fashion-mad brother is most likely to live or work. But when they show his snap at ABC Books on Greek Street, they learn more than they wanted to know: Tom is gay, and he and his lover Jonathon Mason lived above the sleazy shop until someone slashed Mason’s throat. Pete Marelli, owner of ABC, sends Kate to talk to DS Harry Barnard. Even though Barnard works vice, not homicide, he’s Kate’s go-to because he knows Soho better than anyone else on the force. But do his ties to gangsters like Marelli, and fellow East-Enders Ray and Georgie Robertson, make Barnard an asset or a liability in Kate’s quest to find Tom?

Kate’s debut offers a lively peek into the joys and challenges of the 1960s.


Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-78029-004-1
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Creme de la Crime
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2011


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