Butler ( Coffin on the Water ) here recalls the 1960s, when Scotland Yard's eminent Detective John Coffin was a mere sergeant. Anticipating a promotion, he now buys a house that needs repairs and proves a catalyst to dire events. Workmen find the body of an adolescent boy under the floor--and Coffin, though it's not his case, keeps up with an investigation that comes to center on his own neighbors. Attracted to Rose Hilaire, the sergeant learns that her son was a friend of the murder victim and of other missing boys. Rose's troubles multiply as she fights to protect her son and her dress factory, hard-won after years of poverty. The business is threatened not only by scandal but by Rose's designer, Gaby Glass, who schemes to take off with her creations. Darting into odd corners, this mystery is a corker, filled with richly atmospheric scenes of London in the ``age of Aquarius'' as experienced by Coffin and the rest of Butler's well-realized characters. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 12/12/1989 Release date: 12/01/1989 Genre: Fiction
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