I did not realize when I started this book that it was fifth in a series of ten, so far. While it does stand alone, I think I would recommend reading...moreI did not realize when I started this book that it was fifth in a series of ten, so far. While it does stand alone, I think I would recommend reading them in order.
Detective Inspector Harry Hole has been on a drunken bender for several weeks. Having been obsessed with the idea that a fellow cop, Tom Waaler, is corrupt and had killed two people in order to hide his activities, he had come to the conclusion that he was stymied and unable to take the case further. He has but one ally in the police department, his boss, Bjorn Moller. “Harry Hole.The lone wolf, the drunk, the department’s enfant terrible and, apart from Tom Waaler, the best detective on the sixth floor.” He’s occasionally totally dysfunctional with moments of brilliance.
They are confronted with a strange case where the killer seemingly picks his targets at random, leaving only a severed digit as a clue and red diamonds. Hole realizes that the killer is leaving a trail and the clues all revolve around the pentagon shape.
It took me a bit to get into the book, but once involved, it’s a real rush to the end with numerous tight curves and bends. Downgraded for intuitive insights on the part of Harry that seemed to spring out of thin air rather than from investigatory brilliance.(less)
Enjoyable audiobook. Hardcastle, a gruff, often rude, DDI (Divisional Detective Inspector) is sent from Scotland Yard to investigate the murder of a y...moreEnjoyable audiobook. Hardcastle, a gruff, often rude, DDI (Divisional Detective Inspector) is sent from Scotland Yard to investigate the murder of a young actress, Victoria Hart, the recently married wife of a Navy Commander. The investigation wanders from husband to theater director to others who might have resented the lovely actress.
WW I in full swing, Victoria Hart, the dead woman, known for her risque outfits and dancing, had tried to help recruitment by offering a kiss to any man willing to sign recruitment papers (otherwise known as a death warrant.) When two recruiting sergeants are also murdered the investigation takes a different shift, focusing instead on looking for someone who might have resented having a loved one recruited leading to his death in France. The end result is something different, indeed.
Hardcastle is temperamental and often obnoxious sometimes getting results as much through bullying as intelligence with only occasional -- and surprising -- acts of kindness toward his inferiors in rank.
The author, Graham Ison was apparently a Scotland Yard detective for many years. He has an entire series built around the effects of WW I on the general population and the police. He’s written close to forty novels. They contain authentic details of police procedure in the early twentieth century as well has a host of obsolete slang, e.g. “who would know these days the meaning of a ‘fourpenny cannon’? But in Hardcastle’s day, it was a steak and kidney pie. And a ‘Piccadilly window’ was a term describing a monocle. “ (From the author’s web page.)
I’ll have my work cut out to read (listen) to all of the Hardcastle series.(less)