Wycliffe And The Redhead Hardcover – 20 Jan 1998
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
First-class, old-time, hyper-ingenious whodunit--Observer
You can always count on Wycliffe ... he inevitably guarantees a good story, convincing characters and appealing landscape--Financial Times
Wycliffe teases out the truth with delicate skill that leaves the reader intrigued and convinced--Mail on Sunday
Mr Burley tops his form--Guardian
Gripping--The Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The discovery of a body in a quarry creates a baffling case for Detective Superintendent WycliffeSee all Product description
Top customer reviews
The man convicted at that trial was Morwenna's father and he committed suicide shortly after he was released from prison. Morwenna, who has her own problems and agenda, asked Simon to give her a job in the bookshop but Simon starts to mistrust her motives. When she fails to return from a short break he reluctantly decides to report her missing.
There are many dark undercurrents in this story with some nasty rumours being circulated about Simon and his possible involvement in Morwenna's disappearance. Wycliffe finds himself with conflicting loyalties as he has bought books from Simon over the years and feels it is unlikely that Simon is in any way involved in spite of some damning evidence. But it is evidence and not feelings which make a case and Wycliffe resolves to find out what has happened.
I enjoyed this story and in my opinion it is probably one of the best in this excellent series. There is some interesting psychology involved and some fascinating characters which are well drawn and believable.
This story centres on Simon Meagor, an antiquarian bookseller, who some years before was a crucial witness in a killing which resulted in George Barker being convicted. Shortly after his release Barker commits suicide and, not long after that, his wife dies. The children, Morwenna, the red-head of the title, and petty criminal Nicky, both blame Meagor for what has happened to their family.
Morwenna answers an advert for an assistant that Meagor has placed and, somewhat surprisingly, he takes her on. Although he understands that she is probably scheming against him he is strangely passive until, one weekend, she disappears. When Morwenna is found dead in her characteristic yellow mini in a flooded quarry, and Wycliffe doubts that neither accident nor suicide are involved, Meagor becomes an obvious suspect. Wycliffe's team, including DS Lucy Lane, DI Doug Kersey and Dr. Franks, the pathologist, join him in the investigation, which eventually ends us with the killer identified and the motive revealed.
Amongst characters introduced in the second half of the novel is an amateur insect collector, which perhaps harks back to the author's own study of zoology. Throughout the novel Wycliffe comes across as a not-terribly exciting family man who takes walks to mull over key aspects of the case. I suspect that underwhelming response was, in part, due to the fact that I had recently read two of Donna Leon's novels featuring Commissario Brunetti and his colleagues in Venice and, in these, the character of the policeman at the heart of the novel is very much more engaging.
I have read that the Burley was very critical of his work saying that he "never felt very happy with his books - they seemed rather too derivative, following too closely an established pattern". Having just read the one novel I am not in a position to judge whether this book is typical of Burley's oeuvre or whether, by the time that this book was written, he had settled into a rather formulaic procedure which was greatly appreciated by his readers as is shown by the other reviewers.
I will try another book, perhaps written earlier, before making any final decision.
I wanted to get to the end, and the end was non-obvious, if it did depend on a Dickensian type coincidence.
A claustrophobic feeling appropriate to the subject and locale.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews
Look for similar items by category