Top positive review
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She's Leaving Home
on 19 February 2014
This excellent (or should that be 'fab'?) detective novel is set in 1968 Swinging London. The first novel to feature Detective Sergeant Cathal Breen and WPC Helen Tozer - on probation with CID when women are considered unable to even drive police cars, although always called upon to put the kettle on... Breen is an interesting character, not greatly liked by most of his fellow officers and having created a distance from them by moving out of police accomodation to care for his elderly father, who has since died. The author gets the politically incorrect office banter just right as he recreates a time and place where casual sexism and racism are the norm, as is police corruption (including the infamous Pilcher from the drug squad, who targeted John Lennon and Mick Jagger, among others).
Breen is sent to investigate the murder of a young girl, her naked body discovered in a St John's Wood alley. She has been left by a block of flats backing onto Abbey Road, the recording studio where young girls congregate to wait for the Beatles, and also close by the house of an eminent African surgeon. This atmospheric crime novel will take you from Apple Scruffs, to building sites, through to fund raising for the war in Biafra; to both the city and country, as Breen refuses to accept the obvious suspects as the correct ones. Breen and Tozer are fantastic characters, both with their secrets and demons to deal with. I sincerely hope that they will appear together in future novels, as this was so enjoyable and well written.
This was previously published as "A Song for Dead Lips", so beware you don't buy the same book twice.