Seascape with Dead Figures

Roy Hart, Author St. Martin's Press $13.95 (189p) ISBN 978-0-312-01088-1
The author of the well-received A Position of Trust here inaugurates a series featuring British detective inspector Roper of the county police in rural England. Roper is called into a murder investigation in a seaside village by young constable Miller, who is investigating the death of wealthy businessman George Winterton. Suspicion falls on the local notables who had attended Winterton's New Year's Eve party the night before. It turns out that the victim had been blackmailing his guests, and none of them, including his son and housekeeper/mistress, is at all sorry that he's dead. The excitement of this puzzle comes not from Hart's prose, which is determinedly subdued, but from the methodical manner in which Roper chips away at the suspects' defensesuntil one of them finally breaks. Roper is a stubborn bulldog of a detective; you can almost feel him shaking this case until it yields its solution. Hart is on to a good thing with his low-key, savvy protagonist. (September 24)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Mass Market Paperbound - 256 pages - 978-0-373-26268-7
Hardcover - 368 pages - 978-0-7089-2105-0
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