"Cast a Cold Eye" is the first book in the Gil Mayo series. Detective Chief Inspector Mayo has just taken a promotion that brings him from Yorkshire to the fictional town of Lavenstock. In his early forties, Mayo is a widower of several years with a 16-year-old daughter. The reader learns that Mayo likes to get all the facts before settling on a suspect, and that he doesn't like his subordinates to leap to conclusions.
The book starts out in typical mystery genre style by introducing the victim, possible suspects, and the crime itself in the first couple of chapters. Then Mayo and his men (no women on the team yet in this book) become the featured characters as they solve the crime. The plot is reasonable: an architect who has just won an award for a wonderful design is found murdered in his home, and there are an unhappy wife, disgruntled handyman, and others who might have motive to kill him.
Eccles does a nice job of working the plot lines and allowing the detectives to find clues appropriately. The ending has a complexity that is a little surprising. I don't care for how the climax comes in a less-than-exciting recitation in the police station and then the denouement comes in a retelling by Mayo to his new soon-to-be love interest. I think a little more action-oriented ending would have made this book better. It is, however, a good beginning novel for a series.
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