The brutal murder of a young girl polarizes the inhabitants of the newly gentrified London neighborhood under the jurisdiction of police chief commander John Coffin, seen before in Coffin in the Museum of Crime . Victim Anna Mary Kinver belonged to a working-class family long resident in the area, while one of the suspects, Tim Zeman, is the son of a well-to-do doctor. Although a blood-soaked vagrant seems a more likely suspect at first, anonymous letters signed ``Paper Man'' threaten vengeance if the police don't arrest Tim. The mental breakdown of Anna's father, the deaths of two members of Tim's family and then his apparent suicide add further complications. While neighborhood turmoil escalates, Coffin is forced to unravel this complex skein of events while fulfilling the day-to-day requirements of his new position and conducting a love affair with actress Stella Pinero, who runs a nearby theater workshop and knows the families involved in the murders. Butler pens a superior procedural, limning her chosen area of London as it undergoes the throes of physical and sociological change. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1991 Release date: 05/01/1991 Genre: Fiction
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