The Dead of Jericho (Inspector Morse Mysteries) Hardcover – 4 Jun 1981
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|Hardcover, 4 Jun 1981||
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'The writing is highly intelligent, the atomosphere metancholy, the effect haunting' DAILY TELEGRAPH --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Winner of the CWA Silver Dagger Award – 'The writing is highly intelligent, the atmosphere melancholy, the effect haunting' Daily Telegraph --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
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At a party, a morose Morse meets an attractive resident of Jericho, Anne Scott, and after they talk and flirt gently he feels drawn towards her. She gives him her address but, although he considers it, he does not visit her, partly because she is married and partly because of his own lack of self-confidence in establishing relationships. Some time later he has to attend a lecture in her neighbourhood. When he calls she is apparently out but, after the lecture has concluded, he finds police have been called to her home and have found her hanged.
Whilst Morse is as pedantic and infuriatingly acerbic as ever, the less-assertive side of his character and his loneliness is evident, and his feeling of loss causes him to pursue some ill-advised investigations into Anne’s death. Initially he has the young and inexperienced DC Walters to bully and bamboozle but before long he takes over the investigation formally and Lewis joins him. Whilst Lewis generally trails along trying to understand his boss’s thinking, just occasionally he manages to formulate an idea before Morse.
The plot has too many twists and turns to count and involves accidental death, an additional murder, blackmail, brotherly rivalry, much philandery, Greek mythology, a peeping tom, drug-taking and bridge-playing. Morse, as ever, creates convincing hypotheses but sees them come clattering down all around him.
For once, Morse recognises Lewis’ talents [‘The man was so wholesome, somehow: honest, unpretentious, humble, almost, in his acceptance of psychology and life. A lovable man; a good man.’] but still cadges drinks off him and omits to tell him with whom he has spoken and what he has found out.
In the mid-1980s, this novel was the first to be dramatised for television and introduced UK viewers to John Thaw’s Morse, surely the portrayal that most readers recognise.
I enjoyed this but I thought it was let down by a very weak and entirely unbelievable denouement. I was expecting much more. However, my appetite for Morse has been whetted and I will read more.
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