Picture of Innocence

Jill McGown, Author Ballantine Books $22 (352p) ISBN 978-0-449-00250-6
The death of East Midlands farmer and landowner Bernard Bailey from booze, drugs and a dull knife leaves an excess of suspects in this meticulously detailed and lushly atmospheric addition to McGown's series starring British coppers DCI Lloyd and DC Judy Hill (Verdict Unsafe, 1997, etc.). The list includes Bailey's routinely battered second wife, Rachel, who so far had failed to produce the male heir that would bring Bailey the proceeds of a significant inheritance, and Bailey's grown daughter, Nicola, the local vet who had also felt her father's wrath. A wealthy builder, Mike McQueen, has made a handsome offer for Bailey's land and has an eye for Rachel's charms. Rachel, however, is sleeping with Curtis Law, a local TV journalist who is working on a number of stories and has an active role in a drug sting operation. The abundance of motives in Bailey's murder proves perplexing for Lloyd and Hill, who are also lovers and whose relationship is challenged during this case. McGown gives Bailey an unlikely Yorkshire accent of almost cartoonish bluntness and struggles some to make Rachel a magnet for every male in her range. Yet McGown's latest Lloyd and Hill mystery possesses a wealth of psychological nuance and narrative depth, all the way through to the resolution, a masterpiece of controlled complexity. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1998
Release date: 06/01/1998
Hardcover - 560 pages - 978-0-7862-1670-3
Mass Market Paperbound - 352 pages - 978-0-449-00251-3
Open Ebook - 200 pages - 978-1-4472-6880-2
Hardcover - 330 pages - 978-1-4472-7058-4
Paperback - 330 pages - 978-1-4472-6879-6
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