Bank Holiday Monday, and beautiful Zellah Wilding, straight-A student at St Margaret's, prefect and future Head Girl, lies dead near the famous Wormwood Scrubs prison in London. What was this good girl from a strict Christian family doing out there, dressed to kill, when she was supposed to be at a sleepover with school friends?
A secret boyfriend from a run-down estate and a recently released rapist look tasty; or could the nearby fairground or the eponymous prison have something to do with it?
The mysteries only seem to proliferate as the investigation progresses, and the more Bill Slider knows, the less he understands about this very secret girl.
©2009 Cynthia Harrod-Eagles (P)2010 Soundings
After a while away from the crime and thriller genre, this was a welcome return to the fold. An attractive teenager from West London has been murdered and the story unravels of her having got caught up with a wrong 'un from an estate, a group of posh party people, an over-bearing father and a cast of characters to suit. It's well written, there's a fair bit of detail of the area, some gritty reality about casual drug taking and it carries on at a good pace with enough red herrings to keep you entertained. The only negatives are that the narrator hasn't got a London accent so it does seem a bit strange that everyone sounds like they're out of Heartbeat rather than The Bill and there are a few procedural details around tracking phone calls that are a bit out of date, which is surprising given how current some of the urban/street themes are.
"Good book, problematic narration"
This is more a review of the narration rather than the book - I know the book will be good, I'm a big Slider fan, however I could not listen to the narration. I really tried. I gave it 30 minutes and then gave up - it felt too much like work, and I usually LOVE British narrators. To me the voice just did not fit the story, I kept having to hit replay because I couldn't understand the words, and the narrator sounded as if he had breathing problems - I'm sorry, I would much rather have loved it!
"May be a good book but I'll probably never know!"
Like the initial reviewer, this is more a review of the reader. This may be a brilliant book but the reader is horrible. I gave the book an hour and a half before I could no longer stand it. The problem? He's so old fashioned and narrates the book as if it is Jane Austin. This is a modern day crime novel and I felt as if I was in the Victorian age. Oh well, lesson learned, I shall be avoiding this reader from now on and I suggest others do the same. Unless it is a classic novel, he'd be ok with those.
I enjoyed the continuing murder mysteries solved by Inspector Slider. And I always like stories with a continuing backstory involving the main characters.
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