Death Trap

Patricia Hall. Severn/Crème de la Crime, $28.95 (224p) ISBN 978-1-78029-022-5
An underdeveloped lead mars Hall’s otherwise solid sequel to 2011’s Dead Beat, set in the early ’60s. Photographer Kate O’Donnell, who’s moved to London from her hometown of Liverpool, where she was an art college classmate of John Lennon, is pleased to have landed a new job. The uglier side of life intrudes when Notting Hill neighbors of Kate’s are menaced by thugs in the employ of their mysterious landlord, who wants to force them out so he can sell the building. Despite the threat, the police refuse to intervene, but Kate reaches out to a friend on the force for help. Meanwhile, the shutterbug involves herself in trying to clear a West Indian man accused of murdering a prostitute. Hall does a nice job of delineating the seedy underbelly of Beatles-era London, but she fails to distinguish Kate from countless other similar plucky heroines. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/14/2012
Release date: 07/01/2012
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