A POUND OF FLESH by Trevor Barnes


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 Scotland Yard Superintendent Blanche Hampton (A Midsummer Night's Killing, 1992) takes on a particularly horrific case: Patricia Hoskin, daughter of a Home Office junior minister, has been strangled and her body mutilated while a recording of the St. Matthew Passion played in the background. Under orders from her smug superior Brian Spittals, Blanche charges Patricia's married former lover John Hebden--despite her feeling that the evidence against him is insufficient. Meanwhile, the real murderer, schizophrenic solicitor David Parker, keeps his panic attacks at bay by cooking and eating a meal of the dead woman's flesh and dreams of luring some other woman into his net--perhaps Blanche herself, after he recognizes her in a news photo as the woman who had cold-shouldered him after he'd dated her once last year. Despite some routine police work and a retro damsel-in-distress climax, Barnes achieves a scary intensity in his portrayal of repressed, murderous David: here's a man who really does need to kill.

Pub Date: May 25th, 1993
ISBN: 0-688-11048-7
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1993