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Still Waters: A Mystery

(DCI Mark Lapslie #1)

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  678 ratings  ·  99 reviews
When the badly decayed body of an elderly woman is unearthed, Detective Chief Inspector Mark Lapslie and his sergeant, Emma Bradbury, are called in on the case. The body provides only two mysterious clues to the identity of the murderer: someone with a deadly knowledge of household plants used shears to clip the fingertips off the corpse's right hand. But this dearth of ev ...more
Hardcover, 275 pages
Published July 15th 2008 by Pantheon (first published August 2nd 2007)
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3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  678 ratings  ·  99 reviews

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Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
Okay quick! Check Amazon to see if this fantastic book is still free, if it is grab it! If it's not - grab it. I was enthralled by this visceral book by the creator of Silent Witness and my full raving review is on way!
Jun 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a spontaneous purchase from a rummage table. I had never heard of the author or book before, but the premise caught my attention and I thought it would make a decent holiday read. And I was rewarded indeed with a great story. The complex M.O., poisoning her victims and taking on their identities one after another, was very original, while the choice of an elderly woman as serial killer was unusual but fitting. The investigating DCI also was different, as Mark Lapslie suffers from synaes ...more
Jan 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When you are in the mood for an Agatha Christie like murder mystery then this book is for you. With a twist of course, as DCI Mark Lapslie, our lead inspector, lives in a daily hell. He has a condition called, synaesthesia, where he "taste" sounds. Like when somebody speaks to him he gets the taste of lime on his tongue or the laughter of his kids taste like vanilla. So of course his life hasn't been very pleasant in the last couple of years. He has been off of work almost a year, when he gets a ...more
Sep 29, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, 2009
Still Waters is a solid murder mystery with some interesting aspects. The protagonist is a detective who has synaethesia (he tastes sounds), which prevents him from functioning normally. The murderer is an elderly woman who poisons other elderly women. This isn't a "whodunit" since we spend half the book with her, but the mystery lies in how the police will connect the initial body to her and track her down before she can do more damage.

Nothing knocked me over, but I did enjoy the unusual chara
Aug 07, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror-thriller
I bought this book years ago based on some unjustified belief that this book had sought me out. After the adrenaline rush of reading The Night Sister, I thought this one might keep up the momentum, but I was rather disappointed. The pivotal story is interesting, but the author gives equal attention to the investigator and his personal quirks and backstory, probably in the hopes to develop an arc for a series (I guess this is the first of many). While the writing isn't bad, I found I wasn't much ...more
Theresa Leone Davidson
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very good, very suspenseful thriller about a serial killer outside of London and the police officer who is investigating. I read another of McCrery's novels, Silent Witness, a while back, and it was good but this one is much better. Also interesting is that the main character, Detective Chief Inspector Mark Lapslie, suffers from synesthesia, a neurological condition, and it causes him to be isolated from his colleagues, friends, even his own family, and it makes for an even more compelling sto ...more
Jun 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A very young girl witnesses a horrible crime committed by a person in her family that should have loved and protected her. This event so warped this girl that she went on throughout her entire life committing crime after crime. Her murder weapon is not a knife or a gun. Her weapon is her knowledge of common plants that any of us might have in our garden. But the plants can kill if handled in the proper manner.

The girl, now a woman, has many names. It is amazing that she can keep track of who she
I found this on one of my searches for British detective series on KU. The premise is gorgeous (not giving anything away here) and I loved the start of the story. There was some truly beautiful writing:

‘Polio,’she said, her voice tasting of brandy and soda.

And this:

’I sometimes worry,’ Lapslie said, ‘about what might happen if you guys ever decide to go freelance.’
‘We do talk about setting up a murder consultancy,’ Burrows admitted. ‘But we’d have to register for VAT and everything, and it’s j
Shonna Froebel
Nov 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a very different mystery novel. Main character DCI Mark Lapslie gets called off sick leave when a traffic accident brings a body to light. Mark doesn't understand why he would be linked with this case. He's been off on leave due to his acute synaesthesia. Mark's version of this means that sounds set off tastes for him. The sensory overload at work was too stressful, and the condition has even affected his marriage.
Both voices and other sounds trigger the tastes and sometimes they are ext
I generally liked the British settings and the characters and plot of this mystery. I really liked the weapon of choice of the murderer and how the murderer made use of it in so many ways throughout the story. I wasn't thrilled with the switching back and forth of the viewpoints, though. I enjoyed this book up until the very end. The ending was a little bit of a let down, it was just too simple a conclusion.
I hope to see another book by this author that further develops the characters of Detect
Angela Stockton
Wow! What an incredible page-turner this book is! I was captivated from the first page and it did not disappoint. I love the originality this story held. I guarantee there is not another book quite like it with the same storyline. Core of Evil actually scared me at some points - not an easily achieved feat for books.
Denise Ward
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read

I chose this rating because it had me on the edge of my seat and is a real page turner!!! Crime lovers will thoroughly enjoy this book. Its Minette Walters meets Mo Hayder. Didn't see the end coming, can't wait to read the next book to find out what happens to Mark Lapslie
Amanda Drugan
cleverly written

Horrific start! Cleverly written and descriptive so you felt you knew the locations etc. if anything, a little drawn out and a quick ending leaving you wanting it to go on a bit longer as the rest of book had.
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A brilliant read! An unexpected villain and a cop with synaesthesia creating an original plot.
Nicky Mottram
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Excellent start to a series
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not my kind of mystery (serial killer identified at the start) but so well written.
Sep 30, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the horrific beginning to the satisfying end of this creepy, well written detective novel, I found myself switching from admiration to repulsion. Starting with an innocent summer's day while a grandmother gardens and watches over her grandchildren culminating in a very interesting police procedural to catch a murderer with a core of evil, the protagonist, Lapslie constantly suffers from a syndrome which makes him taste sounds, sometimes causing him to throw up, sometimes pleasant. However, ...more
Mar 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008-reads
RATING: 3.75

Nigel McCrery has taken an interesting approach in this debut of a new series featuring Detective Chief Inspector Mark Lapslie. The book is almost equally a psychological thriller and a police procedural. I was fascinated by the lead villain in the tale, an absolutely unique serial killer. And the police protagonist is also unusual, suffering from a rare malady that heavily impacts his personal and professional life.

First to our serial kill
May 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
I purchased this book awhile ago, and I remember starting it and for whatever reason I wasn't enthralled by it, so on the shelf it sat, until about two weeks ago. I needed a book to read and I was sick of screen reading the Kindle, I wanted a good paper bound, paper smelling book. I needed the real deal, you know what Im saying? So I went to the trusty bookshelf. I contemplated re-reading Stephen King novels, because thats what I do, when I came across Still Waters again... I couldnt remember wh ...more
STILL WATERS (Police Procedural-Mark Lapslie-England-Cont) – G+
McCrery, Nigel – Standalone
Quercus, 2007, UK Hardcover – ISBN: 1847240747
First Sentence: “Granny, what are these?” shouted Kate.
*** Detective Chief Inspector Mark Lapslie and Sergeant Emma Bradbury are called to the scene of a car accident, but that’s not the reason they are there. The accident uncovered the decomposed body of a woman. Lapslie, doesn’t understand why the crime is why the case has been assigned to him. Lapslie suffers
Feb 23, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommended to Therese by: book club
As the result of a car accident, the decayed body of an elderly woman is unearthed in the woods. Detective Mark Lapslie is assigned to the case called in from sick leave. He suffers from a rare neurological condition, synaesthesia, which causes him to taste sound. There is no cure for this condition and having it causes him to lose his marriage, relationships with friends and colleagues, and, most importantly, could cost him his career. For example, when working in the detective room at the poli ...more
May 31, 2016 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If you like delving deep into dark detective novels (alliteration unintended) Still Waters by Nigel McCrery is for you. British, Deputy Chief Inspector Mark Lapslie is pulled off medical leave to work on a most surprising case. A middle aged female sociopath is methodically murdering old, lonely women and Lapslie is hot on her trail or taste! He suffers from synesthesia – he tastes sounds. The author cleverly shows how this neurological condition is both a help and hindrance in Lapslie’s life an ...more
Jul 18, 2011 rated it liked it
This is a modern day British mystery in the best sense. It sometimes feels as if you’re watching an episode of Mystery Theatre on PBS. Mark Lapslie is a DCI (Detective Chief Inspector) that has been placed on extended medical leave due to a neurological dysfunction called synaesthesia, a condition whereby certain sounds create tastes that are often so overwhelming that Lapslie has become somewhat of a recluse. His condition is overlooked, however, when it appears that a serial killer may be on t ...more
May 04, 2013 rated it liked it
All fictional detectives are flawed in some way - the alcoholic, embittered, divorced loner is typical - which is what makes them interesting. McCrery's detective has a unique flaw in that he suffers from synesthesia - a neurological condition where the senses are wrongly stimulated, in his case sounds cause him to have different taste sensations - the cell phone ring is an agreeable dark chocolate, other sound-taste conjunctions are not as delightful. He could not tolerate the noise of his chil ...more
Oct 07, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction
hmmm. I don't know if I liked this one or not. It kept me engrossed for sure. It wasn't an action packed book, but it was very interesting. I liked the way the murdered worked, and the detective's synaesthesia shows some interesting potential to solve later mysteries.
The bad thing is that I couldn't remember his name for more than a minute - the man himself was pretty unmemorable to me. I didn't like his constant quoting from classical works, either. I think this must be a British thing, though,
Jun 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was originally going to give this book three stars as the prologue doesn't quite add up with the book, which I would explain but I don't want to give any spoilers. Another reason I may have rated this book lower for is the continued use of certain phrases and words which can be very annoying.

However, this book was one of the most original I have read, and had one of the best twists and plot I have seen for a long time. I didn't expect this book to be so amazing. I picked it because I have rea
Mar 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
whew - when an actual novel (as opposed to a graphic novel) is gripping enough to achieve one-day-read status in this house dominated by the two-year-old, you know you have something good on your hands.

a woman broken in childhood by a terror beyond comprehension. a detective broken by the slow accumulation of sensation associated with his synesthesia (a neurological disorder in which the sufferer's nerve responses are crossed - in this case, the detective tastes sound). even though mccrery's nov
Jun 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: the-isles-crime
Creepy so very creepy right from the beginning. This is a mystery but not a who-done-it, we learn who is the killer within the first 5ish chapters (if not earlier) and we spend about half the book with the killer. The characters make the book. Our lead detective tastes sound and thus cannot easily function in society (reading about his family is a little heartbreaking) and he is called upon to investigate the death of a old lady whose body was found after a car accident, she was not involved bei ...more
Apr 27, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, 2011
a good crime novel and a true page-turner. only took about a day and a half to finish, mainly because of the split perspective. whenever the bit with the woman was over i wanted to know how far the detective got and how his team reacted. read like a tv episode, and incidentally, that's what the author also earns money with. it had an interesting plot with a woman killing other old (and never missed) women and taking on their identities. the explanation at the end was a bit "convenient", but that ...more
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How Sick and Crazed was this?!!!!!! 2 12 Nov 02, 2012 09:56AM  

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Nigel Colin McCrery is an English screenwriter and ex-police officer.

Other books in the series

DCI Mark Lapslie (6 books)
  • Tooth and Claw
  • Scream: A Dci Mark Lapslie Investigation
  • The Thirteenth Coffin: A gripping thriller (DCI Mark Lapslie Book 4)
  • Flesh and Blood: DCI Mark Lapslie (Book 5)
  • Bloodline (DCI Mark Lapslie #6)