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on 16 February 2009
The eleventh in the Bill Slider series finds the Detective Inspector trying to arrange his marriage to his love, Joanna, before the impending birth in approximately seven weeks of their child. As he says: "I've been trying to get married . . . arranging a wedding between a policeman and a musician is like trying to push a balloon into a milk bottle." As the book opens Slider and crew are investigating the murder of Ed Stonax, former BBC correspondent who had left to become a civil servant a couple of years back, only to be forced to leave that position when he became embroiled in a sex scandal. Is it a random burglary gone wrong, or does it stem from something in his previous professions that had somehow led to his demise?

At the same time, Slider is dealing with a communication he receives from a criminal in whose arrest he was a participant; the man, Trevor Bates, alias The Needle, had escaped during transfer to a different facility a month prior, and had not been seen or heard from since. Direct threats on his and Joanna's lives up the stakes, and indeed attempts are made on his life. Bates is variously described as a "wealthy businessman, property dealer, electronics expert, murderer . . . intellectual, cold-blooded, and pathologically vain." Quite a nemesis, and one that Slider is determined to re-capture, if only in self-preservation.

Slider's colleague, Atherton, never lacking for female companionship, finds a fast-growing attraction to Stonax' daughter, a journalist now living in New York but who has come back to the UK after her father's death. Only this time it feels different for the serial-dater. Emily, the daughter, begs to be allowed to stay involved in the investigation, and her experience as a journalist becomes a definite asset. For his part, Slider "was happily spoken-for, but there was no harm in admiring the scenery, even if you were on a non-stopping train." But his love for Joanna is never in doubt, despite that momentary thought.

The author's charming sense of humor is evident throughout, in spite of the sometimes grim nature of the plot. Another colleague is described as having a "face that lunched on a thousand chips." A superior has a habit of mixing his metaphors: "A leper doesn't change his spots, " "don't throw the winds to caution," and "still waters wait for no man." Ms. Harrod-Eagles is a wonderful storyteller as well as a gifted writer, two things not always, or even often, found together. The book is highly recommended.
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on 7 September 2013
The book was ordered for a birthday gift. It was promised "next day", estimated two days after (on a Saturday) but didn't arrive until the following Tuesday. No apologies. Fortunately it arrived just in time for the birthday but it was an anxious time. The book itself was well received by the recipient who is a great fan of the Bill Slider stories.
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on 11 August 2009
I have really enjoyed the Slider mysteries - just clever enough to keep you guessing, a bit of background humour with the main police characters and usually a well thought out plot.
Sadly with this book, I found the plot so convoluted and with so many names that appeared without much background story to them, that it was hard to grasp their part in the story - or for that matter to be interested in them.
The other 'police' side I found rather unbelievable - this is meant to be a murder mystery not a Mills and Boon novel.
I wont give up just yet and hope that the next Slider, due out soon, will be a return to form.
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on 9 November 2010
This summer I re-read all my Bill Slider books in sequence and couldn't wait for the next. It didn't disappoint. I love Cynthia Harrod-Eagles way with words - her literary allusions and word-play. These are not just good 'who-dun-its' but involve the reader in the lives of the characters. This book stands on it's own as a good read, but it also shows the development of the characters' relationships.
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on 24 March 2014
Read this book for the third, time but even when you what will happen next, the characters, locations and storyline are so brilliantly written that I just loved reading it again. Superb.
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on 19 March 2010
If you enjoy god well plotted detective fiction with good wit and humour and wonderful characters this is for you. The whole Inspector Slider series is a delight
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on 1 December 2015
Really love Cynthia Harrod Eagles DI Bill Slider books. Very much worth reading.
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on 4 March 2015
a favourite author
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