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Gently Continental
The Inspector George Gently Case Files - Book XVI
Alan Hunter

Robinson (Constable and Robinson)
18 October 2012/ ISBN 9781780339429
Mystery / Contemporary / 1967 / Norfolk, England
Amazon US || UK

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde

Edith Breske is a Viennese woman who runs the Hotel Continental. She remembers the good old days before the war, and gives her patrons a taste of what she once loved so much. One morning the body of an American guest is found lying on the beach at the base of the cliffs. Did he fall or was he pushed, and why does the body bear the marks of torture? George Gently investigates.

It is good to see George back from his sojourn in the Highlands, and back on familiar ground. Anybody like this reviewer who loves to read Mr. Hunter’s wonderfully inspired and evocative descriptions will be treated to quite a few in this book, although once again the author is trying an experiment. This time all the conversations are written like those in a play, creating a strong contrast in their starkness to the poetic passages of lush description. Scripts are fine when one is either watching or participating in a play, but these bare utterances look a little naked without any additional verbiage around them. After a while this style gets tiresome, almost as though the author had had enough waxing lyrical and decided on some bald passages to speed up the work. This aside, the fantastic is missing here after the last flight of fancy and instead are this author’s hallmarks of ordinary people getting mired in the extraordinary, and Gently shaking everybody to see what falls out. This is a good story filled with echoes of the then very recent war, and a picture of a traditional, English place beset by the doings of foreigners in a new, postwar world.

Other reviews in this series

Gently Does It - Book I
Gently by the ShoreBook II
Gently Down The Stream Book III
Landed Gently Book IV
Gently Through the Mill - Book V
Gently In The SunBook VI
Gently With The Painters Book VII
Gently To The Summit Book VIII
Gently Go Man - Book IX
Gently Where The Roads Go – Book X
Gently Floating - Book XI
Gently Sahib - Book XII
Gently With The Ladies - Book XIII
Gently Northwest - Book XV
Gently Continental - Book XVI
Gently With The Innocents - Book XVII

Reviewed 2013