tirsdag den 14. september 2010

Martin Edwards, Yesterday´s Papers (1994)


This mystery is the fourth in the British series about Liverpool lawyer Harry Devlin. I have not read the first books, but the writer sent me this one as a pleasant (and signed) surprise!

The plot of this one is a fine cold case mystery. Thirty years ago, pretty young Carole Jeffries was strangled in the park near her own home, and almost before the police have had time to look around for a suspect, her weird neighbour confesses to the murder and is convicted. Even so, he does not seem able to live with his guilt, and after a botched attempt he commits suicide in prison.

On the surface a straightforward, uninteresting case, but when old Ernest Miller approaches Harry Devlin, wanting him to take a look at what seemed to be a ´perfect murder´ because ´the true culprit escaped scot-free´, Devlin cannot help feeling interested. As soon as he has had time to take a closer look at the old files and expresses his growing interest in the nearly forgotten murder, Miller seems to lose his own engagement in Carole´s death, however.

Though it should be impossible to solve a crime that was committed so long ago, Devlin puts his stubborn curiosity to a good cause and eventually makes real progress. Perhaps even so much that his surroundings begin to feel threatened.

Besides an interesting set of characters, especially Harry himself, the book conveys a vivid sense of Liverpool of the 1960s, including the optimism in the wake of the Beatles´ success.

240 pages may be regarded as a fairly short book based on today´s standards, but “Yesterday´s Papers” is a perfect story for readers who love twists and turns!

My review of Waterloo Sunset, the eighth Harry Devlin novel and The Serpent Pool, Martin´s latest book.

12 kommentarer:

....Petty Witter sagde ...

What a lovely surprise and how very kind of the author. Full of twists and turns - this sounds like just the kind of book I'd enjoy.

Margot Kinberg sagde ...

Dorte - Thanks for this excellent review. It's been my goal to read the Devlin books as well as the Lake District series, and you have whetted my appetite!

Kelly sagde ...

I'm not familiar with the series, but like Tracy I love having twists and turns in a mystery. The setting sounds great, too!

Clarissa Draper sagde ...

Martin Edwards writes some fine books. I have only read his latest but I mean to catch up on the rest.

CD

Dorte H sagde ...

Tracy: one of the huge surprices I got when I started blogging was all the interesting and generous bloggers I met.

Margot: they are very fine, but I am not sure they are all in print.

Kelly: I agree that elegant little twists make all the difference.

Clarissa: the plot of this one was excellent, but I like the Lake District environment even better.

Maxine sagde ...

Lovely review, Dorte. It reminds me that I have a couple of this author's Harry Devlin novels to read, so I must get around to it. I think he's a superb author, pity he is not as well known to the general public as Rankin as he is easily as good.

Dorte H sagde ...

Thank you, Maxine, but it is easy when the book is lovely. Martin told me this one was one of his favourites, and I could imagine that was because of the well-wrought plot.

I could also have mentioned the fine language, but I am sure most of my readers know that already.

Fiona sagde ...

I can hardly believe this: I read this same book today, finishing it just ten minutes ago! Apart from the coincidence and 'small world' cliché I agree with you wholeheartedly about the excellence of the book. I did spot the murdered about 50 pages before the denouement, but once again Martin fooled me completely with the twists and turns at the end - especially the final page!!!

Palle sagde ...

After reading Margaret's (Books Please) book review of "The Serpent Pool" I wrote the below mentioned. It still stands!

For some reason books by Martin Edwards cannot be found in danish libraries. The only ME novel I’ve found was a single copy of The Serpent Pool. Quite unusual for danish libraries. Bad marketing from mr. ME’s agents in Scandinavia?

Dorte H sagde ...

Fiona: what a coincidence! And my daughter and I also appreciated that last twist very much.

Palle: are you sure that writers and agents do have much influence on what books Danish libraries buy? The whole world knows about Stephen King and Stieg Larsson, but for mid-stream writers who have not achieved international fame (yet), it costs a huge effort to get the books out there.

Palle sagde ...

Yes of course I am sure. If the agents persuade danish publishers to translate into danish and publish an authors books it is the libraries duty to buy at least a few copies

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams sagde ...

I'm looking forward to reading this series! And you've made me even more excited about reading it. :)