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Editor reviews

When newly-promoted detective John Coffin is called to investigate the body of a young woman floating down the Thames in 1946, he is drawn into a grim mystery surrounding a suspicious murder. The victim, who has suffered significant physical trauma, comes bearing a note: "Present for my mother", a sentiment directed at an actress whose son drowned 17 years earlier. A crisp, upright narration from voice actor Nigel Carrington brings a dignity and gravitas to prolific British writer Gwendoline Butler's atmospheric mystery, part of the John Coffin series of crime novels.

Summary

British writer Butler has crafted a grim tale that unsuccessfully blends murder with social commentary. In 1946, newly promoted detective-constable John Coffin arrives in Greenwich to take up his post. Soon after, the body of a young woman floats down the Thames to South London. It quickly becomes clear that this is no ordinary murder: the victim has been strangled, stabbed and mutilated. Attached to the body is a note reading "Present for my mother," a reference to former actress Rachel Esthart, whose son drowned under mysterious circumstances 17 years previously, and who has just received a postcard promising an imminent gift from the boy, whose death she has never acknowledged. Then two other bodies are found in the river, murdered in the same brutal way.

©1986 Gwendoline Butler (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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Coffin alive and kicking!

This is the first in Gwendoline Butler's acclaimed series of police procedural novels about the eponymous John Coffin and his rise through the ranks. She weaves a tapestry of various threads and themes, not least the social history of the time - the end of WW2 and the life of the river Thames. Ms Butler is a skilled writer and keeps you guessing as to the eventual denouement .Nigel Carrington does a brilliant job of bringing her wide and varied cast of characters to life. In short I loved it and will be buying Book 2 - Coffin in Fashion - as soon as possible!