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Gently With the Painters (Inspector George Gently Series Book 7) Kindle Edition
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A woman has been murdered almost under the windows of a police station and her husband is naturally the first suspect but she seems to have antagonised most of the members of an artists' group to which she belongs. She was murdered immediately after a meeting of the Palette Group and had arguments with more than one of the other members.
I found the characters well drawn and believable. Gently himself is always interesting - self contained, calm and thoughtful he frequently maddens his colleagues with his apparently off the wall theories. But they know him of old and know that he is almost always right even when he seems to be completely wrong. I enjoyed the descriptions of arguments in the art world with its sometimes eccentric characters. The victim's husband - a Flying Officer Kite type with the moustache to match - is extremely well done.
The ending of the book is excellent with a nail biting car and plane chase and then Gently's interrogation of a suspect which baffles his colleagues until the conclusion is reached. I recommend this series to anyone who enjoys crime novels which do not contain graphic violence and which have a strong psychological basis.
The author portrays a world which has completely disappeared and which younger readers will not remember. The days when you had to go through the exchange when you wanted to make a trunk call, there were no mobile phones and no CCTV cameras and shops in general were not open on a Sunday and there were no fast food outlets, except fish and chips, and no supermarkets. People and their motivations and behaviour are still the same whatever their surroundings. This is book seven in the series.
With a County Constabulary obviously having trouble with the death of a woman they call in The Yard for some much needed assistance. But with obvious incompetence by the local man on the scene, will Gently ever catch a killer? With suspects holding back details and lying it does take some sifting through facts to get to the truth, especially as one of the chief suspects does a disappearing act, much to the annoyance of all. Could George have made a mistake?
In an interesting crime tale with more going on than just one killing it has to be admitted that we can work out who the killer is long before the police do, even though it is obvious that Gently does have some inkling. There are some thrills here and this does make for an enjoyable read as Gently comes up against a murdered woman’s husband and an art group.
George Gently, recently elevated to the rank of Superintendent, C.I.D., found that his promotion was sitting heavily on his shoulders: seniority and the pressure of administrative work on "important" cases were keeping him away from the field work he loved. The last straw had just been added to the burden: he had fallen in love with the Johnson case, but he wasn't going to get it. The Assistant Commisioner gave him the bad news in person. Gently would have to coach the up-and-coming Inspector Stephens from the sidelines and let 'him' find the solution - if he could.
The facts in the case were puzzling enough. Shirley Johnson, a young, attractive, and talented artist living in the Fen-country city of Norchester, had been stabbed to death some time after the monday evening meeting of the local Palette Group. The body was discovered Tuesday morning in the car park adjoining and in full view of police headquarters. Aside from the murder weapon, a steel letter opener which was found still plunged into the body, and the victim's last known painting, 'Dark Destroyer,' which the police had impounded as a possible clue, there was nothing to go on. The Palette Group was composed of an odd assortment of characters whose loves and hates might easily drive almost any of them to murder. St. John Mallows, R.A., the well-known landscape artist who chaired the Group, seemed to be deliberatly with-holding information. Shirley's husband the blustery but cool ex-RAF bomber pilot turned real-estate agent, was either lying or protecting somebody. The local police were flummoxed, and Scotland Yard had been called in.
To Stephens it was an open and shut case, if you examined the facts scientifically. But Gently wasn't buying his solution. Crime detection was more an art than science, no matter what they were teaching the brisk and hungry newcomers at Royton Police Academy these days. By a bit of tactful maneuvering, Gently wangled his way onto the case, only to find himself challenged as he had never been before - not only to prove to himself and to the yard that he was not a has-been, but to nab a shrewd and daring psycopath before he, or she, killed again.
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