Two men had the job of tracing seventeen-year-old Jenny Hyde's killer. One was Chief Inspector Henry Hall, an elitist cop of the old school, who was driving in one direction only - to the top. It was his job. His territory.
The other was Peter Maxwell – 'Mad Max' - widower, film buff, golden-hearted cynic, and bow-tied, eccentric teacher under suspension and suspicion. Maxwell didn't have to become involved at all. But he was so involved he didn't know how to get out.
Jenny had been one of his students. Peter Maxwell was mad enough and determined to find her killer.
A deeply cynical view of modern British schools informs this absorbing series launch, which pits a teacher who prides himself on his eccentricity against a killer, the police and the educational establishment. After 17-year-old Jennifer Hyde is found dead, ostensibly after being raped, in a deserted building called the Red House near Birmingham, the police, led by ambitious Chief Inspector Henry Hall, mobilize their resources. But one of her teachers, Peter Maxwell--aka Mad Max to his students and some of his colleagues--feels responsibility for her fate and decides to investigate, questioning police effectiveness and dedication. His probing brings on deep trouble, as his interest is interpreted as possible guilt or prurience. Another death digs the pit deeper. Trow, author of the Inspector Lestrade crime novels, serves up clever, biting commentaries on modern life and introduces, in Maxwell, a compelling, literate protagonist who quixotically battles the bureaucratic degradation of all he holds dear.