I am re-reading all the Slider books, and find I am enjoying them even more this time. You have to like a slow paced book,but there is always something happening. I like The inter-play with all the other people in the book. This book is for people who like to READ, words, and descriptions as well as finding out who done it. Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, uses the same type of writing style here as in her Moorland Books.
Give the book a go, and if you enjoy it, start at the beginning, and see how his personal life developed. No swear words, no nasty bad grammar, a well written, enjoyable book.
Zellah Wilding is smart, attends a very good school and has a strict father who tries to keep her on the right path and out of trouble. She is also pregnant and dead. Inspector Bill Slider and his team are out to find her killer.
With each new Bill Slider book, my love this series and CHE's writing is renewed. There is a great opening sentence and hook which immediately some of the main characters and gives the reader a bit of their background and relationships.
With the book's opening sentence, I realized how much I had missed reading about these characters. The characters are all well-drawn and fully developed. But more than that, I appreciate that the Slider team like and respect each other. There are no anti-social, angst-driven acrimonious characters here. Lest you think this might make the characters boring, they are anything but.
One of my favorites is Porson, Sliders superior, who supports and respects his men, but can mangle phrases such as "It's the early day that catches the worm." And "There's more than one way to butter a parsnip." I think CHE must have enormous fun writing Porson's dialogue, but he is not a foolish character, and that takes particular skill. The dialogue is very well done. I occasionally am caught by a Britishism but can always figure them out. She does write in the dialect of the characters, which add realism and personality, but didn't slow down my reading.
The story provides the reader a strong sense of place. One thing I love about English mysteries is the history of England itself. In this case, the crime takes place at Wormwood Scrubs, a name I know from reading historical mysteries. Bits of area's histories are seamlessly intertwined into the story. London is not a city I know well, having been there only once for a short time, yet I always had a sense of where the characters were.
The story's plot was so well done. This is not another serial killer book, but a classic murder investigation. There is one murder of a young woman followed by focused police procedure to find the killer. What a nice change.
Cynthia Harrod-Eagles is one of those writers I feel should be much better know and more widely read. The book jacket compares Slider to John Harvey's Charlie Resnick. I don't know that I completely agree with the character comparison, but I would compare the quality of both author's writing. My only hope is that there will continue to be new Bill Slider books for many years to come.
FELL PURPOSE (Pol. Prod-Bill Slider-England-Cont) - Ex Harrod-Eagles, Cynthia - 12th in series Severn House, 2009, UK Hardcover - ISBN: 9780727868428
A young girl is found dead on some waste ground. DI Bill Slider always feels sorry for the victims but this is somehow more close to home because he has a teenage daughter too. There are rather too many suspects to make it an easy case to investigate - the girl's nearest and dearest, her ex-boyfriend who she definitely met shortly before her death and a previous offender who may or may not have been in the area at the time. That's before Slider's team start investigating further afield.
The plot is complex, the writing is crisp and the dialogue sparkles as do the chapter headings which are never less than apt and amusing. I love the banter between the police officers involved in the investigation and the way they all come over as fallible human beings with worries and concerns of their own. Slider himself is one of my favourite fictional detectives.
If you like our crime stories mixed with humour and peopled with likeable characters then try this series. The books can be read in any order as there is enough background information in each one to keep up with what is going on in the private lives of the series characters.
The twelfth book in the Bill Slider series finds the Detective Inspector and his team from the Shepherd's Bush police station investigating the murder of a young girl, not quite seventeen years old, strangled with a pair of women's tights. There is no evidence of rape, but the crime is quite horrifying enough - Slider's own daughter is nearing that same age, and he can't help but relate to the horror her parents must now face.
When the parents are interviewed, an interesting scenario is presented: The mother wanted nothing more than for her daughter to attend the 'right' school and make a 'good' marriage, whereas the father wanted to keep her in a regimented lifestyle which would not expose her to the superficial and boy-crazed delights of her friends. She was a beautiful and apparently talented and brilliant young woman. But was she as innocent as her parents were convinced she was? The investigation ultimately turns up at least three viable suspects, but getting inside the head of this enigmatic victim to identify the man who killed her is not easily done.
The cops on Slider's team are, as always, wonderfully drawn characters, and I smiled when Superintendent Porson made his appearance, he of the mixed metaphors and endearing malapropisms, of whom the author says: "In his headlong and tempestuous battle with crime, and with life in general, Porson's way was to fling whatever words came first to hand in the general direction of meaning, and hope some of them stuck." Others are described as follows: One cop's coat "was so vast and long it looked as if it was taking him for a walk rather than vice versa. His massive and strangely bumpy bald head shone in the muted sunlight, a beacon of hope and a symbol of courage in adversity." Of another: "He was tall, and so thin he had to run around in the shower to get wet . . . People trusted him and told him things they wouldn't tell someone who looked more like a paid-up member of the human race," and interviews a woman "who was so dense that light bent around her." Yet another is described as "so slow, you should have your own time zone."
Despite the horrendous nature of the crime at the center of it, the book is nevertheless a pleasure to read. The author's descriptions of even the smallest scenes are letter-perfect, bringing them to life for the reader. It is another wonderful novel by Ms. Harrod-Eagles, and is highly recommended.
Inspector Bill Slider is now a father, and the elegant Sergeant Atherton now has a steady girlfriend. It's a Bank Holiday and Bill has arranged to take Katie and Matthew, the children of his first marriage, and Joanna and the new baby, to visit his elderly father in Essex, whilst Atherton has arranged a day out with Emily. But both outings are off when the body of a young girl is found in the Wormwood Scrubs area.
Identified as Zellah Wilding, a straight A student from a good family - why was she murdered. But there are anomalies, why would she be seeing Ronnie Oates, a boy from the wrong side of the tracks, and where is her mobile?
When they get a confession Porson looked as if he'd been thrown a life line, but Slider isn't sure. But as Porson says `Rhodes wasn't built in a day'
Whilst the main protagonist is Bill Slider who I like enormously as I do Atherton, like me as for any devotee of this series they must love the Porsonisms which abound in this book. Not sure if it's a good or bad thing that I love it when Superintendent Porson is in evidence supplying his own band of proverbial expertise. Highly recommended ---- Lizzie Hayes Other books in the series are, Orchestrated Death, Death Watch, Necrochip, Dead End, Blood Lines, Killing Time, Shallow Grave, Blood Sinister, Gone Tomorrow, Game Over
Another excellent novel in the wonderful Slider series.....an enjoyable mystery with several good red herrings - an easy plot line, not too hard to work out how it was going, but still a good light read. One of the best parts, as has already been said by a previous reviewer, is reading about a police force who actually like each other and dont have a mountain of personal problems that they constantly whine about and which seem to take over in so many detective series these days. Also Porson is a total gem ! My one niggle, and it is just a little niggle, is the author's lack of knowledge of telephone systems.....I cant really say more without spoiling a bit of the plot, but in reality the investigation would have moved on far more rapidly in 2009 with our current technology....the times when the police had to wait days for information records are long gone. Apart from that, an excellent light read and look forward to the next instalment.