Detective Inspector Bill Slider # 13
March 1, 2011/ ISBN 9780727869579
Police Procedural / England / Contemporary
by LJ Roberts
First Sentence: “You look terrible,” Slider said
as Atherton slid into the car.
Inspector Bill Slider and his team are investigating the murder
of David Rogers, shot in his home at point blank range by someone
with a silencer. Everything about him indicates he has considerable
money, except his bank statement. Yet, the crime doesn’t appear
to be one of passion or of robbery. With very little evidence, few
clues, and no obvious motive, the police are having a difficult
time finding the killer. Does the answer lie with one of the many
women in Roger’s life, with his past or with his shadowy job?
The deeper they go into the investigation, the bigger and more complex
the case becomes
Reading Cynthia Harrod-Eagles is pure joy. Her love of language
is evident on every page as exemplified by her dialogue, wry humor
and evocative descriptions...”a well-dressed elderly couple,
so tiny and immaculate they could have earned spare cash standing
around on wedding cakes.” There are hunger-inspiring descriptions
of food, from the grab-and-go to a particularly delicious dinner.
Each of the characters is fully-fleshed out and the relationships
realistic. It is so refreshing that the protagonists have normal,
stable lives and aren’t angst-driven or alcoholic, yet there
is nothing cloying about the way in which they are presented.
American readers may not be familiar with some of the terms or
expressions, yet these are British police who use British vernacular.
The meaning of those expressions that may not be known to the American
audience can easily be gleaned for their context and add to the
veracity of the story.
The plot is developed bit-by-bit from a single murder to something
unexpected. This is a serious crime which becomes more serious as
the story progresses. At the same time, it is presented in the manner
of a traditional mystery in that overt violence is left off-stage.
The case is investigated by a team using procedure and following
the clues; no tricks but a few very effective red herrings, no sudden
revelations. At the same time, it was interesting to learn that,
in Britain, one can rent a gun from a dealer for a day. It’s
that information and attention to detail which greatly enhance the
Most of all, I come back to the use of language. There are subtle
puns, visual similes and metaphors, and the most wonderful malapropos
which are attributable to one of the characters. The cleverest part
is that the other characters are so accustomed to them, they are
commented on only once and you feel that is more for the sake of
Body Line is an excellent, traditional police procedural
with wonderful characters and a very well-constructed plot that
is pure pleasure to read.
Reviews of other titles in this series
My Darling #14