A shooting. And a terrible accident. The police team changed, and a new man found new angles of enquiry. The answers, of course, lay in the past, and everything linked together beautifully. A little too much drama, a great piece of luck … but it was right.
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- Who Saw Him Die.
I can easily forgive an author who can construct a good plot and bring it to life with such perfectly realised characters small things like that. And she offered an inspired post script that showed another side of the story, and what happened next. This book proved to be a very lucky find: a mystery built on classic lines with clever plotting, fine pacing, and true understanding of character. Aug 21, Sandra rated it liked it. I am enjoyed this book enough that I would like to read more in the series. Local residents knew enough to watch out for the inebriated Clanger, but John Goodrum was new to Breckham Market's peculiar ways.
She's more educated and refined than "When Breckham Market's local drunk, Clanger Bell, is run down by a passing car, the coroner's verdict is that the driver is innocent: Three witnesses agree that John Goodrum had had no chance to stop -- Clanger Bell simply stepped in front of the oncoming car. She's more educated and refined than John, but they seem to be happy together -- in fact, they're apparently deeply in love.
But that love has had a price. John left behind a bitter first wife and two angry daughters.
They had toiled for yars in John's poultry business until he finally sold out and made a fortune. Now he's gone on to genteel respectability with Felicity, taking his money with him. Unfortunately, however, not everyone believes in John's innocence. Clanger's elder sister, Eunice, call in Detective Chief Inspector Douglas Quantrill and his attractive sergeant, Hilary Lloyd, to register her suspicions.
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John Goodrum has a motive, she says. He deliberately killed her brother. Quantrill must also explore his feelings for Hilary. As Quantrill and his associates close in on their quarry, we marvel anew at the superb talent of one of our premier crime writers. But fascinating: how DID jack Goodrum think his actions would save him from his immoral past? Can someone of his ilk really change to a loving husband and middle class gentleman? Can Felicity really be that naive? This one ends in cliffhanger, and also sports a guest appearance of our Martin Tait -- as egocentric and arrogant as ever.
Lovely to watch Hilary deal with him, put him in his place and he not recognize that he's fighting above his weight. Sep 08, Lila rated it really liked it. The town drunk gets run over, but events show it was not an accident. Jan 11, Damaskcat rated it it was amazing. Clanger Bell, well-known local drunk, is run over and killed by new resident, Jack Goodrum. The Coroner quickly decides, thanks to three reliable witnesses, that Jack had no chance to avoid Clanger and the death is ruled to have been accidental. In the meantime Quantrill is having problems with his son and thinks he is falling in love with Hilary.
Dysfunctional families, people with irrational obsessions and a case which may date back more than thirty years keeps everyone busy in this dark and well written crime story from this underrated author. Set in Suffolk this is a complex story with many ramifications and it will keep even the most observant reader guessing. I enjoyed it and found it kept me reading throughout one evening and I was disappointed when I got to the end.
Who Saw Him Die
The book contains many well drawn characters and I like DCI Quantrill for all his faults and Hilary Lloyd has developed into an interesting character too. Those who read the first two books in the series will be interested to see how newly promoted DCI Martin Tait is developing as he plays a part in this book. If you like your crime novels in the conventional mode but with some darker aspects too then give this interesting series a try.
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About Sheila Radley.
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Sheila Radley. Sheila Mary Robinson was born and brought up in rural Northamptonshire, one of the fortunate means-tested generation whose further education was free. She went from her village school via high school to London University, where she read history. In the s she opted out of conventional work and joined her partner in running a Norfolk village store and post office, where she began writing fiction in her spare time. Her first books, written as Hester Rowan , were three romantic novels; she then took to crime, and wrote 10 crime novels as Sheila Radley.
Other books in the series. Another case of singular brutality was the murder of Edward P. Fitch who lived a couple of blocks from Judge Carpenter.
He was up-stairs sic when they came to the door. They called to him to come down and as soon he appeared they shot him, and he fell in his own doorway. Although he was evidently dead, they continued to shoot until they had lodged six or eight bullets in his body. They then came in and set fire to the house. Fitch endeavored to drag her husband out from the house but they forbade her.
She then tried to take his picture from the wall, but she was forbidden to do even this. Stupefied by the horrors of the scene and the strange brutality exhibited towards her she stood in a half dazed condition looking at what was going on about her. As the fire progressed one of the ruffians came up and drove her out of the house. Otherwise she might have perished with the rest.
She then took her three little ones a short distance away, and sat down on the grass and watched the flames consume her husband who still lay in the doorway of his home. While she sat looking on, one of the ruffians went up to the door, and drew the boots off Mr. Fitch was a young man of excellent character and highly esteemed by everybody.
He was one of the first settlers and taught the first school ever taught in Lawrence or in Kansas.
In Pursuit of Quantrill: An Enlisted Man's Response
He was an earnest Christian and was secretary of the Congregational Sunday school. He was quiet in his habits, mild and gentle in his spirit. He was not at all partizan in his views, and was always a friend of order and justice and peace. The occasion of the peculiar ferocity exhibited towards him is one of the many mysteries of this very mysterious affair. His wife could think of but one explanation. The children had a little toy flag stuck up on the shed in the back yard.
She was of the opinion that this little flag, a few inches square, angered them and drew out the singular hate they manifested.