Jimmy Stone died of a broken heart. Literally - someone put a sharp object between his ribs and pushed, hard. He was found sitting in a circle with three other corpses in the living room of a Notting Hill flat. Notting Hill - with its million-pound houses a hundred yards away from sink estates - is DS Stella Mooney's patch, so it's up to her to discover who broke this heart of Stone's. But when Mooney's private life gets caught up in the quest to find Stone's murderer, what will it cost her - and those that she loves?
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David Lawrence is an acclaimed poet and TV script writer. He lives in Barnes, West London and is currently working on his second Stella Mooney novel, NOTHING LIKE THE NIGHT.Review:
Outstanding Praise for David Lawrence and The Dead Sit Round in a Ring
"[A]n interestingly flawed heroine . . . and a perspective on London that is darker and grittier than in conventional treatments. Whether he's describing a bizarre death scene or observing a group of streetwalkers plying their night trade, Lawrence, a published poet, writes with a delicacy and restraint rare in the genre . . . . Lawrence's refined tongue can spit venom. That's a voice you want to hear again."
--Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
"Rough dialogue, intricate plotting and cascading suspense. . . Readers are sure to want to see more of the memorable Stella"
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Brash, complex, and beautifully written. An auspicious series debut with the compellingly flawed Stella at its heart."
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"From the spontaneous dialogue to the clear, convincing procedure and the menacing atmosphere, there isn't a single false note in this striking debut, which earns pride of place deep in the darkest circle of noir, down past Ian Rankin and John Harvey to the shadows where lurk Ken Bruen and Derek Raymond."
--Booklist (starred review)
"[E]ngrossing. . .a gritty, noirish police procedural about the "near-to-the-knuckle" work done by cops who care about what they do. . . . this series is to be devoutly desired."
--Michele Leber, Library Journal
"With John Harvey's Charlie Resnick out to pasture and Ian Rankin's John Rebus getting a bit too big for his britches, where are the tough new Brit coppers coming from? Try this highly touted first mystery from London-based poet and screenwriter David Lawrence, who introduces us to Detective Sgt. Stella Mooney of West London's Area Major Investigation Pool."
"[S]tylish . . . punchy, quick moving prose . . . The plotting is slick and well paced, the writing smooth, and the characters, especially Mooney herself, are complex. By the end of this novel you will want to know more about this woman . . . . superb tension"
"Fans of the PBS series Prime Suspect or of hot Scottish writer Ian Rankin shouldn't wait to check out this debut mystery. . . The Dead Sit Round in a Ring will surely be one of the best mysteries of the summer, probably of the year. A gripping plot and complex, compelling characters would be enough to put this book at the top of the list - but Lawrence turns out to be an excellent writer whose uncluttered prose gives his story the gleam of a city street on a rainy night."
--Jane Dickinson, Rocky Mountain News
"[A]n extremely dark police procedural that is quite exciting and realistic. . . The story line is more urban noir . . . [and] is a terrific tale"
"Lawrence's style is as fast and smooth as a well-tuned Ferrari, and his background knowledge here is awesome. Definitely one of the best thrillers of 2002." (Crime Time)
"An author and a character to watch." (The Guardian)
"Lawrence has put together a throat-grabbing plot" (Daily Telegraph)
"An accomplished first novel. . . . I look forward to [Stella Mooney's] next case." (Sunday Telegraph)
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Book Description Penguin Books, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0141004878