John Gardner, Author
John Gardner, Author . Severn $26.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-7278-5829-0
Reviewed on: 07/29/2002
Release date: 02/01/2002

In this first of a new historical series, prolific British veteran Gardner (License Renewed and 15 other James Bond novels; The Liquidator and seven other Boysie Oakes novels; etc.) offers two books in one: the first, a poignant and spellbinding memoir of London during the Blitz; the second, a routine and plodding police procedural. Despite seemingly insurmountable male opposition, Woman Police Constable Suzie Montford is promoted to detective sergeant when the military draft creates a shortage of male police officers. The serious-minded Suzie doesn't get much chance to prove herself professionally before being matched with DCS Tommy "Dandy Tom" Livermore. Tommy is "an anomaly, a rarity, seen only once in a generation: a gentleman detective." Oh my, someone call central casting at once. See if Bill and Myrna are still available. The two are faced with a series of murders of young women, including a popular BBC announcer, strangled with piano wire, the handiwork of Golly Goldfinch, a grotesquely ugly man-child who obeys voices that order him to kill. He may appear simpleminded, but he is a dangerous quarry. Unfortunately, Golly is more pathetic than frightening and never believable. The best parts of the book describe WWII London and are very fine indeed. (Sept.)

The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!