The Poison Pool

Patricia Hall, Author
Patricia Hall, Author St. Martin's Press $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-09894-0
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-373-26198-7
Hardcover - 250 pages - 978-0-00-232350-5
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This auspicious debut is set in a modern England where the landscape is dotted with council houses as well as country homes and where class differences are not to be ignored. An anonymous tip prompts Detective-Inspector Alex Sinclair of the town of Milford to bring in Joey Macready for questioning about the murder of retiree Tom Carter. Since Joey was brain-damaged at birth, Alex wants him to be treated as a minor. But autocratic Detective-Superintendent Eddy Greaves promptly secures a full confession and charges Joey: case closed. Stepping in to help is Kate Weston, who lives next to Joey and his mother and is an employee of the local ``advice centre,'' which establishes a defense committee. Alex is sympathetic to Kate's efforts--in part because she is more civil to him than is his socially upscale, emotionally distant wife--but loyalty to the force keeps him from voicing his qualms about the case. It is Kate, whom people trust and talk to, who first suspects that the disappearance of Carter's young fishing partner may not be coincidental and that a thorough murder investigation could reach into some surprising corners. As Alex and Kate maneuver their way through an action-filled plot and the beginnings of attraction, they establish themselves as a pair readers will root for and hope to see again. (Nov.)
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