When the body of jeweller Nigel Fontenoy is found, Detective Chief Inspector Gil Mayo and Detective Inspector Abigail Moon feel they haven't far to look for the murderer. Fontenoy's cousin, Jake Wilding, was heavily in debt to the dead man and cannot account for his whereabouts on the night of the murder. But complications arise when Wilding finally names his alibi - a former lover - and claims that Fontenoy was pressurising him to act as a go-between for possession of some unnamed object... or information. "Eccles' police procedures are superior specimens." PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
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Building-developer Jake Wilding; his cousin Nigel Fontenoy, an antique jewelry dealer; and Tom Callaghan, a TV talk-show host, have grown up together in the town of Lavenstock, home to CDI Gil Mayo (The Company She Kept, p. 1099, etc.), and now to newly promoted DI Abigail Moon. Abigail's first big case is the killing of Nigel Fontenoy, who is found after an awesome storm in a tatty alley next to the Rose bar. It doesn't take long to uncover a clutch of motives for Nigel's demise--among them his fondness for young girls, one of them Callaghan's 16-year-old daughter, who'd thrown herself under a bus years before. Jake Wilding's son Matthew, interested only in race cars, worked, reluctantly, in Nigel's elegant shop and has been left a substantial share of his estate. Meanwhile, Wilding's first wife Naomi had left him and Matthew long ago to live a wanton, gypsyish life. She's now back in Lavenstock with her motorcycle-riding, butch daughter Cassie and a twentysomething son Joss, who may or may not have been fathered by Jake. Toss into this cauldron a priceless Faberg‚ piece, separated from its provenance; another killing; and a slew of disturbing interrelationships. It all makes for lively entertainment, enhanced by the author's forthright style, some resonant characters, a subdued village ambiance, and a puzzle neatly deconstructed but with minimum help from Lavenstock's likable police team. -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
Ferocious weather combines with the past to make life interesting for some affluent residents of an English village in this melodramatic offering. When Jake Wilding won't account for his whereabouts during the dark and stormy night on which his cousin, jeweler Nigel Fontenoy, is killed, it appears that Superintendent Abigail Moon and Detective Chief Inspector Gil Mayo have a straightforward case on their hands. But this family tree is more gnarled-and active-than most. And then Wilding, a well-off contractor who seems to have been in the dead man's debt, produces his ironclad alibi. He was visiting his ex-wife, the free spirited Naomi, who has returned to town after years of carefree existence in Greece. The indifferent mother of children from several relationships, Naomi herself seems to have roiled the normally placid village-as has the storm, which has knocked down the village's oldest house and cleared a particularly valuable plot of land. Or was it Wilding who cleared it, using the storm as his cover? Naomi has something the dead man wanted when he was seen carrying a parcel to London the morning before his death. Meanwhile, there are enough half brothers, half sisters, paternity issues and confrontations to keep a not especially credible soap opera rolling for months, all leading up to an ending that stretches credibility beyond its breaking point.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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