- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Orion; New Ed edition (4 Nov. 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0752858726
- ISBN-13: 978-0752858722
- Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 2.5 x 17.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 763,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Wycliffe and the Beales Paperback – 4 Nov 2004
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A mysterious death ... an eccentric family living on the edge of Dartmoor ... And Chief Superintendent Wycliffe has one of his most complex cases to date.
About the Author
W.J. Burley lived near Newquay in Cornwall, and was a schoolmaster until he retired to concentrate on his writing. His many Wycliffe books include, most recently, Wycliffe and the Guild of Nine. He died in 2002.
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Top Customer Reviews
People seem to know a lot more than they are telling Wycliffe and his colleagues but there does not seem to be any way of finding out what is being hidden until another murder takes place.
This is a fascinating portrait of a small community and a family with secrets which are poisoning the present. Wycliffe, it is clear, finds the Beales very difficult and somewhat less than honest. The book is well written with an interesting and likeable main character in Charles Wycliffe.
He immerses himself in his cases and feels as though he is living the suspects' lives at the same time as they are. Detective Inspector Kersey plays a part in this story and he first appeared in an earlier episode of the series as a Detective Sergeant. He is a likeable family man with an excellent grasp of human nature.
If you like the Gently series written by Alan Hunter then you will probably enjoy Wycliffe as well. The Wycliffe series, even though they contain very little violence or swearing, do have a psychological depth to them which is evident in the Gentle series as well. What are currently known as `cosy' mysteries do not need to be bland to be part of the genre as is evidences by this story and others in both series.
Set against Ian Rankin's and Peter Robinson's in depth portraits of Rebus and Banks respectively, and their multi layer story lines, Wycliffe comes a poor third. Rebus and Banks are complex characters with whom you can relate, Wycliffe is too shallow, a mere plodder compared with the other two. And I found the settings lacked any depth as well - Edinburgh and the Yorkshire Dales are beautifully evoked by Rankin and Robinson, and play a real part in their stories, whereas in the two Wycliffe books I've read, the setting could be almost any rural part of England. Wholly lacking in atmosphere I'm afraid.
Definitely not for me. And definitely not in the Rebus and Banks class.