Murder of a Dead Man

John Katherine, Author
John Katherine, Author St. Martin's Press $23.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-15369-4
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 01/01/1997
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John's third British police procedural featuring Sergeant Trevor Joseph and the detectives on the Serious Crimes Squad (after Six Foot Under) sets the group on a gritty, compelling case predicated on an ultramodern medical technique. A pair of red shoes worn by a vagrant in an amateur documentary film suggests that he was the victim who doused with gasoline and set afire near a homeless shelter. Gradually, members of the Squad determine that the distinctively shod man in the film, called Tony, is not the victim. They refocus attention on the now missing ""Tony,"" whose past is uncovered to reveal murder, an escape from prison, an association with one of the Squad and an unsanctioned medical procedure. All of this, including finding out who performed the illegal surgery on ""Tony"" and a new case of arson in which teenage indigents are killed, proves an uphill battle for the Squad, especially for Joseph and his former partner, Peter Collins, who are also beset by domestic problems. John expertly weaves together information about the medical, psychological and procedural strands of this taut story of revenge and retribution. (Jan.)
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