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Published by Severn House, 28
February 2019. ISBN: 978-1-847565-1 (PB)
In a rather run-down area of west London, north of
Shepherds Bush Green, in a small triangle of land bounded by the railway, Wood
Lane and the A40 flyover, in a plot even more run-down than its surroundings,
is an equally run-down motor repair shop in the yard of which the proprietor
Eli Sampson has found the body of a well-dressed middle-aged man who has died
as a result of violence. Sampson calls the police who in their turn call in
Detective Chief Inspector Bill Slider and Detective Sergeant Jim Atherton. It
is clear that the victim had died elsewhere, and his body had been brought to the
yard. But who was he? Why had he been killed? And where had he been killed?
It takes a painstaking
investigation by Slider and his team before they can even begin to unpick the
puzzle, first with the discovery of a lottery ticket in the dead man’s jacket
which leads them to his flat and his name – Leo Kimmelman. But they find that
the flat has previously been taken apart by someone else who was clearly
looking for something which whoever it was seems not to have found. But Slider
and Co, with an inspired guess, do – a memory stick with film of three males
indulging in sex games and taking cocaine. Two are young, obviously Eastern
European, and are unknown to Slider and Co but the third is not. He is former
MP Kevin Rathkeale, now a member of the London Assembly, with special
responsibility for youth. It looks as if the film was made for the purposes of
blackmail but Rathkeale, when interviewed in his office, while he admits that
it is certainly him in the film, denies that he had ever met Kimmelman.
Similarly, the two eastern European males deny that they have ever met
occasional girlfriend, masseuse Shanice Harper, turns up and she tells
Detective Constable Hart that Kimmelman had described himself to her as
righthand man to somebody but she doesn’t know who, although she is insistent
that Kimmelman was not an enforcer, not violent, just a ‘someone who fixed’
things. From there the inquiries lead all over the place, to property
developers and an unsuccessful plan to redevelop the site where the body was
found, to a children’s charity about whose organiser serious doubts had been
raised, to a luxury boat moored on the Thames. It is indeed a game of shadows,
a clever reference to the ancient shadow-plays of Asia, originating two
millennia ago, which evolved through magic lantern shows into early film and
from there into the pictures transmitted via the internet so often for
As usual with this
excellent author’s Slider novels, the pages teem with characterful
personalities and fizz with lively dialogue. Slider’s own team is always a pleasure
to meet on the page: while they banter with each other continually there is
between them a true comradeship which mean that they all can work together to
bring about a satisfactory conclusion to whichever investigation they are
involved in. Recommended.
born in Shepherd's Bush in London. She was educated at Burlington School, a
girls' charity school founded in 1699, and at the University of Edinburgh and
University College London, where she studied English, history and philosophy.
She wrote her first novel while at university and in 1972 won the Young
Writers' Award with The Waiting Game.
Afterwards she had a variety of jobs in the commercial world, while writing
during the evenings and weekends. The birth of the Morland Dynasty series enabled her to become a full-time writer in
1979. The series was originally intended to comprise twelve volumes, but it has
proved so popular that it has now been extended to thirty-five .In 1993 she won
the RNA Novel of the Year Award with Emily,
the third volume of her Kirov Saga, a trilogy set in nineteenth century Russia,
and she also writes the internationally acclaimed Bill Slider Mysteries. There
are now twenty-one books in the series. Cynthia Harrod-Eagles still lives in London, has a husband and three children,
and apart from writing her passions are music (she plays in several amateur
orchestras) horses, wine, architecture and the English countryside.
born in the U.S. but has lived in the U.K. since she was seven apart from seven
years in The Hague. She read law at university but did not go into practice.
Instead she worked for many years for a firm of law publishers and still does occasional
work for them including taking part in a substantial revision and updating of
her late husband’s legal practitioners’ work on Criminal Evidence published
late 2015. She has also contributed short stories with a distinctly criminal
flavour to two of the Oxford Stories anthologies published by Oxpens Press – a
third story is to be published shortly in another Oxford Stories anthology –
and is now concentrating on her own writing.