Orchestrated Death, by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles

First in the "Bill Slider" detective series, so introduces Slider, a decent man who feels he wants to try and do the right thing both in his personal and professional life. This story is of a girl who's found naked and dead in a deserted flat; they realise she's a violinist, based on a mark under her neck, and establish her identity as a rather stand-offish member of an orchestra who no-one really seemed to like. But no-one disliked her enough to kill her, did they?

This was a really good read: I was very impressed, and given that this was the first in a series of at least twelve Slider books, am quite looking forward to reading some more, although a bit worried that they won't be as good.

The writing was very good, I suppose it mostly reminded me of PD James, i.e. a cut above the normal standard for detective fiction, and a fair amount of focus on the personal thoughts and feelings of the characters involved. There was a fair number of literary allusions and word-play, not all of which were flagged as such, and so probably some passed me by.

The crime-plot in this book was reasonably ok, but running alongside it was the story of Slider falling into an adulterous relationship with one of the main witnesses, and having to reconcile his feelings for her with his sense of duty towards his family. The love story was rather well done, and you are left rooting for Bill and Joanna, and hoping that this will develop further in the next book. In fact I was impressed with the way that was left hanging - I'd expected that it would finish with one way or another, so that the next book would be able to start unencumbered by loose ends from this one.

Really enjoyed it, and looking forward to the next one, which I am inclined to start straight away.

Completed : 12-Feb-2012

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