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CITY OF DREADFUL NIGHT by Peter Guttridge Kirkus Star


by Peter Guttridge

Pub Date: Dec. 16th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-7278-6943-2
Publisher: Severn House

A 2009 massacre in Brighton, England, may be linked to the notorious trunk murder of 1934.

Chief Constable Robert Watts is pushed to resign after a police raid goes bad and four people are killed, causing riots, early retirements and still more murders. But only after a story is leaked revealing a one-night stand with DS Sarah Gilchrist that destroys his fragile marriage does he agree to resign. Watts refuses to let go of the case. With the help of Tingley, an old army buddy and security expert with ties to the government, he starts looking into the cover-up. Sarah was on the raid and knows there was something wrong but can’t get anyone except Watts to listen. In the meantime, reporter Kate Simpson has been given documents relating to a case in 1934, when a woman’s body was discovered cut up in pieces left in several trunks. The victim’s head was never found, her body never identified. A fragmented diary written by a police officer proves fascinating reading for Kate, whose powerful father William may have been behind Watts’s downfall. Watts finds himself questioning his own father, a lifelong womanizer who along with William’s father was on the Brighton police force in 1934. Powerful enemies and missing information may make both cases impossible to untangle.

Be prepared for a long night. Guttridge (Cast Adrift, 2005, etc.) combines period mystery, police procedure and noir in a fascinating tale whose only blemish is that you’ll have to wait for the next in the series for its resolution.