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Saturday 26 January 2019

‘An Urgent Murder’ by Alex Winchester

Published by Matador,
28 August 2018.
ISBN: 978-1-78901496-9 (PB)

When 91-year-old George Armstrong is murdered, the police are sure they have solved the crime within days. The nurse who attends him at his home is arrested when her finger prints are found on the jar of poison which killed him. However, Detective John Wiles who has been seconded to help the Chichester Police solve the murder, can't believe the nurse would be so foolish as to leave her fingerprints on the murder weapon. Together with W.P.C. Alison Daines he investigates further, and they are baffled as to why Armstrong had not pulled the alarm cord which was within his easy reach. A discovery is then made which makes them wonder if George Armstrong was actually his real name.

The case then becomes much more involved when there is another similar murder.
At the same time, it comes to the attention of the police that a gang have a “pet” Chief Constable in the Midlands Police Force who is about to retire. Alison's father Graham is tipped to take up the position, however the gang have other ideas. A Russian, Gregoriev and two Lithuanians are given the job of “persuading” Graham Daines to back down so that their own new man can take the job. When Graham refuses to do as they say, his daughter Alison is put in grave danger. Will he be persuaded to withdraw from taking up the position?

Things become even more serious when it is found a high-ranking minister in the government is involved and he has been leaking top secret information to Russia, but who is he?

The team now really have their work cut out. They need to solve the two murders before there is another and they must find who is behind the threats to Graham and his daughter Alison. Plus, it is vital they discover who is leaking all the secrets to Russia.

The book actually contains two completely different stories, rather cleverly intertwined. The author obviously is very familiar with police procedure and I found it very interesting to get a bit of an insight as to how they go about solving crimes. I don't doubt it is common to have such a heavy work load and I think it helps the reader to understand what a great job they do.

Recommended especially for those interested in an authentic story of police procedure.
Reviewer: Tricia Chappell

Alex Winchester was born in West Sussex.  He joined London's Metropolitan Police Force in 1969. During his initial years he served as a Uniformed Police Constable in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and soon became a Detective and worked on specialist groups from New Scotland Yard targeting major criminals. He retired after 30 years. On his retirement, he was employed by a specialist private company for several years. He then returned to West Sussex where he took up a civilian working with the Chichester Police.  He is now fully retired.

Tricia Chappell. I have a great love of books and reading, especially crime and thrillers. I play the occasional game of golf (when I am not reading). My great love is cruising especially to far flung places, when there are long days at sea for plenty more reading! I am really enjoying reviewing books and have found lots of great new authors.

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