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by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
Little, Brown, June 2004
346 pages
ISBN: 0316724920

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

A serial killer has been working his way across the parks of London and when the body of an attractive jogger is found in the bushes of Paddenswick Park, Shepherd's Bush Detective Inspector Bill Slider is called in on his day off, because the murder appears to have been committed by the Park Killer, who may be working his way east, toward Holland Park.

Joanna and Bill are now living together and were hoping to get to her parents' home in order to tell them about their wedding and the impending birth of more grandchildren, but the murder takes precedence.

The victim is Chattie Cornfeld, who runs a PR firm from her rather posh home. Everyone loved Chattie, but her business could not have supported her lifestyle. Was she engaging in prostitution,or dealing in drugs? And when it is found that the Park Killer was not the murderer, Slider and his team must search to find out the reason for the murder and the killer.

Reading a Bill Slider novel is like putting on a pair of comfortable slippers and leaning back in your favorite chair. After nine other books in the series, we know Bill and his problems, and his team, including his friend, Detective Sergeant Jim Atherton, the ladies' man. Recently widowed Detective Superintendent Fred Porson, mangles the English language but manages to cover Slider's butt and get him the extra help he needs to solve the case.

All in all, this is a very satisfying police procedural but, be warned, there are many references to earlier books in the series, not necessarily the crimes, but the relationships. You can read this one as a standalone or go back to the beginning. If you go back to the beginning, you have nine wonderful tales leading up to this one.

Reviewed by Barbara Franchi, May 2004

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