'A lively and highly engrossing British mystery.
All just-promoted Detective Inspector Joe Rafferty wanted for his first important investigation was a straightforward murder, that would enable him to get his man, and go forward to more complicated cases with confidence, leading a team who respected him.
What he got was a murder investigation in Elmhurst's private psychiatric facility that could have been designed specifically to leave him with egg on his face, his reputation in shreds, and with his disliked-on-sight new Superintendent, Bradley triumphantly vindicated in his assessment of his incompetence.
Right from the start, things go wrong—with a media always looking to sensationalise, and who hasn't named the victim 'The Faceless Lady' for nothing; with the chief suspect, a womanising psychiatrist called Dr Anthony Melville-Briggs, who thinks nothing of attempting a little bribery and corruption to achieve his aims.
And then there's Rafferty's family, who can always be relied upon to make him take his eye off the ball at a critical moment. Even his partner, Sergeant Llewellyn, is a high-moral-tone intellectual who acts as if his educated-in-the-University-of-Life boss leaves a nasty smell under his nose.
Bradley is hovering to crow and persuade the brass that he's been promoted above his competence.
Beset on all sides, can he make sure the victim gets justice, and that his first case as Senior Investigating Officer, isn't his last?
'Sharpens the appetite for more.' PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
'The series has stand-out central characters and clever plots.' AUNT AGATHA'S BOOKSHOP, ANN ARBOR
Book Length: 218
Rafferty & Llewellyn British Mystery Series
Dead Before Morning #1
Down Among the Dead Men #2
Death Line #3
The Hanging Tree #4
Absolute Poison #5
Dying For You #6
Bad Blood #7
Love Lies Bleeding #8
Blood on the Bones #9
A Thrust to the Vitals #10
Death Dues #11
All the Lonely People #12
Death Dance #13
Deadly Reunion #14
Kith and Kill #15
Asking For It #16
The Spanish Connection #17
Game of Bones #18
In this lively crime-fiction debut, British author Evans introduces a fresh ``odd couple'' team of sleuths. Rough-edged, blustery and emotional Det. Insp. Rafferty comes from a large, demanding and semi-criminal family; his foil is college-educated Sergeant Llewellyn, only son of a Welsh minister, who hides most of his feelings in scholarly observations and a dour demeanor. Investigating the death of a London prostitute whose battered body is discovered in the well-tended gardens of a private psychiatric institution, they find that all the staff members have keys to the grounds, not to mention alibis of varying credibility. In charge of the home is patrician Dr. Melville-Briggs, who resents proletarian Rafferty putting obstacles the way of his womanizing and career advancement. The pair are soon immersed in a caper full of illegal drugs, jealous physicians and jilted mistresses. Though Evans drops some crucial clues too early to escape the notice of seasoned crime pundits, this often comic tale sharpens the appetite for more from the verbose, expansive Rafferty and his solemn cohort.