cover image Cover Up

Cover Up

Patricia Hall. Severn, $28.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8695-8

It’s July 1964 in Hall’s fascinating sixth mystery featuring photojournalist Kate O’Donnell and Det. Sgt. Harry Barnard (after 2016’s Deep Water). The Profumo affair is still bright in the minds of Londoners, Elvis’s Viva Las Vegas is playing in West End cinemas, and the Beatles are set to arrive in Liverpool for the first northern England screening of their new film, A Hard Day’s Night. Harry is handling the case of a woman whose body has been dumped in Soho Square. Meanwhile, Kate is off to her native Liverpool to photograph how the city has been rebuilt following the devastating bombings it sustained during WWII. How these two seemingly disparate story lines entwine makes for compulsive reading. Hall paints a masterly picture of the times that includes—in addition to screaming fans and miniskirts—casual sexism, horrific homophobia, a touch of police brutality, and the domineering hold of the Catholic church over its followers. Kate is a fully realized character dealing with her own personal demons, and Harry, her lover, is a man coming to terms with a modern, independent woman. They make an intriguing couple. (June)