Dead Beat

Patricia Hall, Author
Patricia Hall. Severn/Crème de la Crime, $28.95 (224p) ISBN 978-1-78029-004-1
Reviewed on: 08/08/2011
Release date: 09/01/2011
For all its youthful fabulousness, swinging early ’60s London has a decidedly darker side, as aspiring photographer Kate O’Donnell quickly discovers in this promising first in a new series from Hall (Devil’s Game). Fresh out of art college in her native Liverpool, where she hung with the likes of John Lennon, intrepid Kate is determined to crack the shooters’ boys’ club—as well as to track down missing big brother Tom. But her initial inquiries around the dodgy streets of Soho lead her to an apartment where a young gay man was recently murdered and from which his lover, who fits Tom’s description, has vanished. As she races to stay a step ahead of the charming but morally suspect Det. Sgt. Harry “Flash” Barnard, Kate stumbles into a high-stakes gangland power struggle. For readers not put off by talk of “poofters” and “nancy-boys,” this is a suspenseful ride with a detective duo well worth rejoining. (Oct.)