A TRUTHFUL INJUSTICE
British author Ashford (aka Roderic Jeffries) offers a smoothly written if unoriginal morality tale that ought to please established fans. When Det. Sgt. Frank Tobin, a corrupt, alcoholic cop, beats up his wife and child, Simon Wyatt, his father-in-law, decides to go over to his house and confront the blackguard. A struggle ensues in which Tobin trips over his feet, and Wyatt leaves in disgust. Later, Tobin is found dead, having bashed his head on the edge of a kitchen table. Some may argue that Wyatt should have had the sense to admit that he was at the scene of the crime and saved everyone a lot of trouble, while others will agree with the suspect that he might have been unjustly indicted for manslaughter. But we must wait the length of the book for the novel's protagonist, the engaging Det. Constable Metcalfe, to catch up with the rest of us. Metcalfe's conclusion that it isn't always in the public interest for justice to prevail is one most readers will have arrived at a hundred pages earlier. (Oct.)
FYI:As Roderic Jeffries, Ashford is the author of Seeing Is Deceiving (Forecasts, June 10) and other mysteries in his popular Inspector Alvarez series.
Release date: 09/01/2002