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by Jill McGown
Macmillan, June 2004
480 pages
ISBN: 1405005491

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

DCI Lloyd and DCI Hill are finally married, and Judy has produced a girl who is now two years old. Hill's mother, Gina, has come to live with then to help take care of the baby while both are at work. Lloyd is still at Stansfield and Hill is at Malworth.

Michael Waterman owns nightclubs and bingo parlours. He is the brother-in-law of DCS Raymond Yardley, head of Malworth CID and Hill's boss. It is Friday the 13th and Tony Baker, a journalist/TV personality, is playing bingo in one of Waterman's bingo halls. He is researching a piece on gambling and its effects on people.

Baker wins a reasonably large prize but shares it with Wilma Fenton. Both of them leave just after winning. So does Stephen Halliday, son of Grace, owner of the Tulliver Inn, where Baker is staying. Keith Scopes, who works for Waterman, is lurking in the alley as well.

Wilma leaves the establishment to go and walk her dog. The envelope containing her winnings drops out of her handbag. Stephen is close behind. He sees what happens, runs to catch up with her, and puts the money securely into her purse. A short while later, Wilma is found in the alley, outside the door to her flat, murdered. The money is arranged neatly on her body.

Twenty years earlier, Tony Baker had tracked down a serial killer who had been outwitting the police department. He finds Wilma's body and phones the police. Any hope of a quiet evening home for Judy Hill is dashed by his discovery. Later, he comes forward with a letter he received telling him that there will be another murder. And there is.

A task force, headed by Lloyd and Hill, is assembled to investigate. Hill is put in charge. Since Stephen will not tell where he was during the time Wilma was killed, he falls under suspicion. Then there is a third murder, and it is also near where Stephen is working that night,

McGown is one of the few writers who can weave the personal lives of her characters into a well-integrated plot that leaves one guessing until the end. UNLUCKY FOR SOME is the 13th novel in the series. The title refers to an old British bingo call for 13.

Reviewed by Barbara Franchi, September 2004

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