Sunday, August 17, 2014

Well written English mystery

Martha Grimes' "Vertigo 42" is an absorbing, character driven novel that kept me satisfied as I followed the well developed plot.

The story begins with Tom Williamson, a friend of a friend of Superintendent Richard Jury, asking him to re-examine Williams's wife Tess's death. She died seventeen years in the past and Williamson is convinced that she was murdered even though the official report is accident or suicide.

Jury takes on the case even though it's not in his jurisdiction. He learns that Tess had a party for children five years before her death. In that party, one young girl was killed. Jury believes that there might be a connection between the party and Tess's death.

Through questioning those who attended the party, we learn what the children had become in the seventeen years since that event.

Jury has a crowd of friends who become characters in the story. They serve as a sounding bell for Jury to examine the motives and possible suspects in both murders, Tess and the little girl. The crowd gathers at the Jack and Hammer pub and provide their thoughts.

Another death occurs and it turns out to have a connection with the children, now adults, who attended the party. Jury wonders what the connection might be but we see a connection in that the woman's body was found at the foot of a tower and Tess died after a fall from a flight of stairs.

The characters come to life as they debate about the crimes. It is interesting that much of the questioning occurs over a cup of tea and some tasty treats. While enjoying the food, discussions occur about the past crimes and the children from the party.

I enjoyed the liesurly pace of the story and the plot. The author keeps the reader in suspense as to who committed the crimes and provides a nice surprise bringing everything together in a nicely wrapped conclusion.

I received a free book for honest review.

2 comments:

Kelly said...

I think I've mentioned here before that I use to be a big fan of the Richard Jury books, but was disappointed in some of the more recent ones.

I started back with The Black Cat after you reviewed it. I enjoyed being with Richard, Melrose, and the others enough that I look forward to this one now, too. It sounds good!

Michael Draper said...

Kelly, You're terrific, I so appreciate you stopping by and leaving notes on my blog.

Mike

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