cover image Sea Fever

Sea Fever

Ann Cleeves, Anne Cleeves. Fawcett Books, $3.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-449-14707-8

Bribery, blackmail and suspects abound in this confusing ornithological whodunit. Seasoned private detective and bird-watching enthusiast George Palmer-Jones and his wife stet commas around Molly/he has only one wife/pk Molly are hired by a distraught couple to find their errant son, coincidentally George's bird-watching colleague Greg Franks. Gregpk is traced to a seabird-watching expedition in Cornwall, but while all on board are distracted by a rare petrel,p. 31 he is murdered and his body is thrown overboard.rather than say thrown overboard with a blow to his head, why not say something a little clearer: is found washed up (if that is the case), with evidence of a suspicious blow to the head, or somesuch It soon becomes clear that Greg had gotten on the wrong side of almost everyone on the boat: competitive birdwatcher Roger Pym; his hard-drinking wifestet commas here too?pk Jane, a probation officerp. 71 ; seemingly meek conservationist Duncan James; and the seductive Rose Pengelly's spurned would-be lover Gerald Matthews. The one the other characters are mentioned without comment/mc/stet one!pk intriguing character is police inspector Claire Bingham, struggling to balance the demands of her investigative work with those of her home life. Cleeves's ( A Bird in the Hand ) dry and awkward writing slows the momentum in the first half, but pk clues multiply and intrigue mounts, culminating clues convene with rare seabirds; a little lazily written in a devastating sea-storm. (Oct.)