cover image One Under: A Bill Slider Mystery

One Under: A Bill Slider Mystery

Cynthia Harrod-Eagles. Severn, $29.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8556-2

Contemporary British police procedurals don’t get any better than Harrod-Eagles’s 18th Bill Slider mystery (following 2014’s Star Fall), which opens with two apparently unrelated deaths. A middle-aged city planner jumps in front of a train at a London tube stop and a teenage girl from a city slum is found in a country lane, possibly the victim of a hit-and-run. Slider, now a detective chief inspector, is only peripherally involved, but things that don’t quite fit tend to niggle at him until he can make sense of them. In this case, those little threads eventually lead to something that is not only awful but affects those so far up the food chain that he is ordered—more than once—to desist. But with his staff of devoted and clever underlings, he cannot. In an age when police budgets are being cut, how much must one kowtow to those who control the purse strings? This is a meditation on modern times as well as a crackling good story. (Feb.)