This is one of Dexter's first Morse novels and the characters are as strong as you would expect, but as yet the characters were very much his and hadn't, morphed into the characters we know from the television adaptations. Lewis was the older of the two, a granddad at this point! Though his character is otherwise much the same, an egg and chip loving Geordie with an innocent honesty. Morse actually drove a Ford Lancia, not having graduated to the Jaguar. Morse was still surly and generally unpleasant but the relationship between the two is quite different to the one that you are used to seeing on television. They are closer in private for example, as Morse can be found asleep on Lewis's sofa after Mrs. Lewis's egg and chips. But they are more distant in the working life with Lewis playing very much the straight an ill informed and ill imagined Dr. Watson. Though it is a simple who dunnit where you don't actually care by the end of it who actually did do it, it is still well crafted and presented. These books can sometimes jar with what you know as Morse and Lewis so it isn't always easy to see them as stand alone works of fiction, but Morse always worth a visit in its original form, especially in one of these earlier versions, even if it is only to sit back and list all the ways its different to the version you know!