The Noose of Time

Stephen Murray, Author St. Martin's Press $15.95 (189p) ISBN 978-0-312-03409-2
Murray ( Salty Waters ) delivers another somber, readable police procedural whose title hints at both the action and solution. At his old public school, detective-inspector Alec Stainton investigates the death of a young teacher found hanged in his flat, his arms and legs bound together by leather straps and his head hooded by a sack. While there is no lack of suspects among the schools's faculty and students, no one seems to have a strong enough motive for such a bizarre killing, and everyone apparently has an alibi for the time of the murder. Stainton must also cope with departmental politics after his chief is replaced by a bureaucratic pencil-pusher. In his private life, Stainton, lonely and depressed by the approach of his 35th birthday, becomes romantically involved with a suspect, an 18-year-old student, which thrusts him into a moral and ethical dilemma. Determined if uninspired police work eventually solves the case--but not Stainton's personal problems. While the mystery is somewhat implausible, and Stainton's melancholia a tad tedious, the story is generally entertaining. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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