NIGHT FERRY TO DEATH by Patricia Moyes

NIGHT FERRY TO DEATH

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

As longtime fans know, erratic veteran Moyes is capable of both topnotch puzzles (like, most recently, Who Is Simon Warwick?) and enervating tangles--like this new case for the increasingly tiresome Chief Supt. Henry Tibbett and his wife Emmy. The implausibilities begin when Henry and Emmy return from a quick holiday in Amsterdam via ferry--only to find themselves caught up in a murder/theft mystery: during the night someone in the sleeping ""saloon"" (for those without cabins) sticks a stiletto into the neck of ""Albert Smith,"" a minor, alias-ed crook who seems to have been carrying a fortune in just-stolen diamonds. Everyone on board (except the Tibbetts, of course) is searched--but no sign of the gems is found. . .until Emmy finds them in her bag after arriving home! So the ensuing investigation is complicated by a series of assaults on poor Emmy by would-be thieves--one of whom promptly commits suicide after failing to get away with the diamonds. Is it just a coincidence that the night-ferry passenger list included the granddaughter of the Dutch diamond-tycoon who was the heist victim? Was ""Smith"" murdered by his own employer (a shadowy mastermind) or a rival thief?. Why do several of the night-ferry passengers seem to be keeping dark secrets? Those are a few of the questions that are repeatedly pondered here--in stodgy, hoary dialogue. (Henry keeps saying things like, ""Damn it, Derek, we're up against a completely ruthless thief and murderer."" But the answers don't emerge until after an unconvincing trap/ showdown aboard the ferry--with all the suspects on hand to reveal a half-intriguing, half-ludicrous web of deception, blackmail, and psycho-villainy. Passable diversion overall--but many Moyes readers will be disappointed by the lumpy style, slapdash characterization, and contorted plotting.

Pub Date: Nov. 8th, 1985
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston