Undignified Death: A Detective Inspector

Max Marquis, Author
Max Marquis, Author St. Martin's Press $18.95 (186p) ISBN 978-0-312-11087-1
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Stunning procedural detail, an effective romantic subplot and an obsessive hunt, not for the killer but for the means to convict him, distinguish Marquis's ( Vengeance ) latest mystery. London copper Harry Timberlake is certain that Charles Henry Newman, a psychotic womanizer and former policeman, is responsible for the deaths of his estranged English wife and her mother. Timberlake traces Newman to a town near Marseilles, but can turn up no conclusive evidence. Back in London, to which Newman has also returned, a series of seemingly random murders occur; the victims, all women, have only a holiday trip in common. The usually calm Timberlake is haunted by the nearly hypnotic sensuality and mocking effrontery of the swarthy, knowing Newman. Marquis serves up simmering sexual tension page after page, boldly making his tale work without the usual array of suspects. Occasionally the humor falls flat and things get overexplained, but the story is resolved cleverly and Timberlake may soon soon join the ranks of those other urbane and emotionally guarded British coppers, Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse, P. D. James's Dalgleish and Peter Robinson's Inspector Banks. (June)
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