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Saturday 23 April 2016

‘Quick and the Dead’ by Susan Moody

Published by Severn House,
26 January 2016.
ISBN: 978-0-7278-8588-3

Following the death of her marriage to Jack the Love Rat, Ex-Police detective, Alex Quick has rebuilt her life as an author.  And now writing art books in collaboration with acclaimed art historian and university professor Dr Helena Drummond things are going well.

Helena Drummond is a character that leaps off the page - she is fun and vibrant with a busy vivid social life.  With an important meeting scheduled with a potential publisher the next day, Alex beseeches her to be on time. Helena assures her that she will, provided she isn’t kidnapped by her stalker.  Alex takes that comment lightly. Helena is prone to exaggeration.

When Helena fails to make the meeting Alex goes to her house, but doesn’t find Helena. Just a mutilated dead body.

With Helena missing she becomes the police’s prime suspect for the killing.  But Alex is convinced that her friend isn’t a killer, and with the police not looking for anyone else for the crime, Alex sets out to track down the killer herself.   However, the more she discovers, the more she realises that she didn’t know her friend at all.  Helena has been very economical with her personal information. There are, it appears, many secrets that she hasn’t shared, but is she a killer?

As Alex uncovers new information she explores several theories as to the killer’s identity which takes her and the story in all sorts of directions.  As an ex-police Inspector Alex still has police contacts, and one in particular is helpful hoping that she will return to the force.

Alex is an engaging character, and I see that the good news is that this is the start of a new series.

An intriguing mystery with a complex plot that keep me avidly turning the pages as I tried to work out whodunit.   Highly recommended.
Reviewer: Lizzie Hayes

Susan Moody was born and brought up in Oxford.  She has published over 30 crime and suspense novels, including the Penny Wanawake series and the Cassandra Swann bridge series.  She is a past Chairman of the British Crime Writers' Association, a member of the Detection Club, a past Writer-in-Residence at the University of Tasmania and a past President of the International Association of Crime Writers.  She divides her time between south-west France and south-east Kent.   Nominated for the CWA short story award.  Nominated for the RNA's award. 

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