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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Slider Winner,
I love the Bill Slider mysteries. As well as the wonderful Morland Saga which, thank heavens seems to have been reprieved for the moment, this author writes the most excellent, amusing and pacy thrillers with her two main protagonists, Bill Slider and his elegant side kick Atherton.
This one is terrific, as always. Melanie Hunter, a charming, attractive and intelllignet paleantologist is reported missing by a neighbour in the house where they both rent a flat. At first the report is down played by the police until it is discovered that the neighbour who reported her disappearance is a convicted murderer, now out of prison and living quietly on his own. He and KillMelanie appear to have struck up a friendship and, naturally, suspicion falls on him. But, as we all know, this is merely a red herring and though Slider and Atherton have to invetigate him, it is clear that Melanie has dark family secrets that just may have something to do with her death and the police are going up the wrong path.
So there you go - not giving any more info away as I want you to get hold of this book and read. I am full of admiration for Cynthia Harrod-Eagle's versatility; her simply stunning series of historical novels, the Morland Saga, display not only her brilliant writing but a depth of knowledge and research which always blows me away and this series of detective novels also benefit from this expertise. Not only is the police procedure sharp and to the point, but the book is people with such great characters: Norma Swilley of the CID, blonde and glamorous with great legs who has survived all the sexism and banter from her male colleagues; Maclaren never seen without a bacon sarnie in his hand or feeding his face with a Mars Bar but in Kill my Darling, strangely quiet and we discover he is in love; Atherton, tall, elegant, fighting shy of commitment, more happy with his cats and his cooking and Bill himself who I simply adore. In the first of these detective novels Bill is married but fairly unhappily to Irene and then investigating a case, he meets Joanna who plays in an orchestra. It is a coup de foudre and throughout the series we have the running thread of his relationship with her and the ups and downs it entails, as well as his friendship with Atherton. As with the Simon Serrailer novels of Susan HIll, the personal runs alongside the professional and we come to care about Slider and Atherton and what happens to them.
And as well as all the above, CHE has a wonderfully witty and amusing style which will make you grin as well as admire the police work:
Chief Inspector Porson who mangles the English language and is really Mrs Malaprop:
"It's the early boss that gathers the moss" Porson retorted "If it goes bad, the press'll be all over us for not jumping to it right away...they love a damson in distress"
Slider barely blinked. He was used to Porson's hit or miss use of language and the old boy was sharp as a tack and a good boss. A bit of Bush in the boss was worth bearing for the sake of the strand in hand"
and then a description of another officer "....whose tact, sensitivity and sweetness of nature made him about as popular as Hitler at a bar mitzvah"
Wonderful stuff and another terrific story with a twist at the end, though this time I had an inkling of what it would be, which isn't always the case.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love CH-E and Bill Slider,
First Sentence: At first Connolly thought he was crying; but after a few minutes she realized he just had a left eye that watered.
Melanie Hunter is known to be polite, and friendly. Now she's missing; reported gone by her downstairs neighbor who's caring for her dog. Melanie's body is soon discovered but the deeper Insp. Slider and his team become involved in the case, they more secrets they find; Melanie's and the men in her life.
Reading Cynthia Harrod-Eagles is always a delightful experience. Only someone with a superb grasp of language could use it as she does..."Connolly gave him a look so cold it could have hosted the Ice Capades." Who else includes words such as "propinquity" and creates malapropos with such aplomb. Her dialogue is flawless and so natural; while her descriptions provide mental pictures: "The woods looked beautiful as the sun reluctantly rose for its low-slung hibernal trajectory across the sky, sparkling and tinged with pink." She is the queen of metaphor: "The hard winter had taken its toll on the road surfaces, and...there were potholes you could find lost tribes in." Her voice is casual, almost conversational; the narrative as though you are being told a story by a friend.
Likeable, appealing characters are so important and these are that. They are human, fascinating and intriguing. They have lives outside their work, homes relationships and pets. This is not an angst-driven cast and how nice is that.
Lest you think all this overshadows the plot, you'd be wrong. There is an excellent twist right from the start and an investigation that builds on police teamwork.
"Kill My Darling" is another very good addition to the Bill Slider series. As ever, I am anxious for the next book.
KILL MY DARLING (Pol Proc-Bill Slider-England-Contemporary) - VG
Harrod-Eagles, Cynthia - 14th in series
Severn House, 2012
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kill My Darling,
In the newest [and very welcome] Bill Slider mystery, the Detective Inspector is presented with a missing persons report: Melanie Hunter, a young woman who is a paleontologist at a prestigious Kensington museum, has not been seen in a day, and though that is normally not a matter for the police at that early stage, there is a hint of Sherlock Holmes in the fact that her dog, usually a very quiet animal, has been left alone in her apartment and has been barking a lot. When her downstairs neighbor lets himself into the apartment with the key he had been provided for just such purpose, he takes the dog back with him and reports the incident to the police. The worst fears are realized in short order when the woman's dead body is discovered.
Suspicion first falls on that self-same neighbor, who is found to be a convicted murderer, though out of prison for several years. Although everyone who knew Melanie says she was very friendly and loved by all, there are soon several serious suspects, and no real proof or evidence to narrow it down. Slider, always a sensitive soul, finds the girl's death haunting him.
Slider is a wonderful protagonist, and his colleagues in Shepherd's Bush cop shop are delightful creations all, including D.S. Porson, king of the malapropisms and mixed metaphors, described variously as having "the looks and charm of a bunion," wearing a "greatcoat, the folds of which were so voluminous a Bedouin could have kept his entire family in there, and several of his favourite horses as well." The author's trademark evocative descriptions of people and places are terrific as always; the writing throughout is wonderful in its humor and poignancy, and the mystery thoroughly satisfying, with a fascinating resolution that is truly unexpected - - though all the clues are there.
5.0 out of 5 stars Yet another superb Bill Slider story.,
For me, in my imagination, Slider looks like Frost. Atherton looks like Hatherway. If you love Frost and Lewis on TV then I think these books are for you. I find the characters, locations and storyline are all utterly convincing.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent characterisation enhances a terrrific police procedural,
Why Cynthia Harrod Eagles' name is not bracketed with those other mystery writers as a damn good novelist, in any genre, is simply beyond my understanding. She writes at least as well as P. D. James, Reginald Hill and Elisabeth George, and better, in my opinion, than Peter Robinson and Peter James.
This tale has subtly drawn characters, nuanced and interesting, and a twisted plot that almost fooled me until near the end - just as it should. The tale is about the murder of a young woman, competent and kind, loved by everyone. Why she was killed, as well as who her nemesis was, is the point of the book. The ending, and the intertwining of the various suspects, is clever and well-wrought, and the language is, as ever with CHE, lucid, flowing and with touches of humour and profundity that flash like little comets in the night sky.
Bill Slider, Jim Atherton and their respective women and colleagues, are finely drawn, and believable. The book has pace, and insight, and I cannot recommend it, and CHE's other Bill Slider books, too highly.
I loved it, and hate having to wait for more.
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent characters, clever plot, and wicked with words,
The Bill Slider series is a real success because it hooks the reader in a variety of ways, and "Kill My Darling" is no exception. The individual plot is clever because it interweaves what has become an all-too-common event (man walking dog finds human remains) with a multiple death (train crash), potential familial abuse, teacher/pupil relationships, and so many other things which fill the tabloid press daily. Then there's the murder investigation, seen from the police's viewpoint, reflecting the difficulties they face, not just from an unfriendly, untrusting public, but also from their own hierarchy, with its love of media and statistics, and indifference to justice. There's an amazing ability to describe people, the lives they lead, the decor in their homes, and their need for sensationalism and a moment of fame. Finally, running through each book is the ongoing saga of the lives of various members of Slider's team, their own problems, stresses and pressures, and joys.
Added to all of that is Cynthia Harrod-Eagles' skill with language. Her chapter headings alone are extremely clever, while Porson's difficulties with the English language are brilliant, since what he means is perfectly clear, despite the mixed metaphors, but it's impossible not to linger over them to work them out properly - and still feel a pang for the poor man, who seems utterly lost without his wife. There's also plenty of very astutely described banter and word-play within the team, who, like any other group faced with danger, basic nastiness, and potential loss of life, need the release that such strange humour can produce. Remember the story about the soldier in the Falklands "My foot... I've lost my foot" - "No you haven't, mate, it's over there."? The banter exchanged in "Kill My Darling" may be sillier, but it's still brilliant for defusing tension.
I've read all of the Bill Slider series, and have to admit that I enjoy them so much I've stopped waiting for them to come out in paperback, and indulge in each new hardback, for both the individual plot, and because the characters are so good I really need to know what the latest is in the Slider and Atherton households.
5.0 out of 5 stars Kill My Darling review,
This review is from: Kill My Darling (Bill Slider) (Paperback)
This is one of the latest of the Bill Slider mysteries, and I ordered it for my sister who is a great fan (I read it before sending it and found it well written, amusing and exciting.)
5.0 out of 5 stars Bill Slider Books,
Have now read all Bill Slider books and each one only gets better. One of the best detective novelists around.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read,
Once again Cynthia Harrod-Eagles excels with this story. Bill Slider is on the case and will not rest until it is solved. Thoroughly enjoyed. Can't wait for the next book in the Series.
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Kill My Darling (Bill Slider) by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles (Paperback - 29 Jun 2012)