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Gently Where She Lay
The Inspector George Gently Case Files – Book XX
Alan Hunter

Robinson (Constable and Robinson)
21 November 2013 /
ISBN-13: 9781472108692
Mystery / 1970 Norfolk, England

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


Vivienne Selly has been found dead in her cozy seaside home. The body curiously shows no sign of violence and the whole picture looks oddly serene; there aren't even any obvious marks on the body. But this final scene in the dead woman's life is the only tranquil thing in it, as Inspector George Gently is about to find out.

This is another book written in Gently's own words and once again, I think I preferred the third person narrative. Mr Hunter's main strength was his descriptions, and these are less evident in his protagonist's voice. After the Hollywood style femme fatale in the last book there is a portrait instead of a woman into the more outré aspects of sex. Gently has to grill various people including several sixth form girls from a local college and uncovers a sinister side to the dead woman and the sleepy seaside town. Mr Hunter, via Gently, does get to describe perfectly the genteel, staid surface of this town and the reader gets to see a more modern side to this classic writer. I think that one of the great treats about reading a prolific author's complete oeuvre is seeing how his style changes, and this is more evident with Hunter than with many others. As always, worth reading for its taut plotting, brevity, engaging protagonist and portrait of a particular time and place.

Reviewed 2014