Sunday, March 9, 2014

Hard Going by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles

First Sentence: Slider’s wheels were in dock.

Although D.I. Bill Slider isn’t particularly looking forward to a week off from work, he hadn’t planned on a murder saving him from time in shopping malls. A well-known local philanthropist is dead. The evidence indicates he knew his killer. Coming up with suspects isn’t a problem. Discovering a motive and evidence proves to be much harder.

From the very beginning, you are pulled in by the author’s voice and delightful, very dry, humor…”but Kate [Slider’s daughter] merely rolled her eyes. It was her response to everything. She must have eye-muscles like a boxer’s biceps, Slider thought.”

It’s refreshing to have a DI who is not an angst-ridden. He’s divorced with two older kids, but remarried with a wife, baby, another on the way and a live-in dad. This provides us just enough exposure to, and the normal problems of, his home life. We see Slider’s kinship to Atherton, his second, and to his team.

It is through Porson, Slider’s boss and something of a figure of fun that we see the author's true mastery of language. One has to be truly dexterous to create the amazing malaprops she does and her incredible imagery.

“Hard Going,” at the heart of it all, is a true police procedural, proving you don’t need a lot of violence or profanity to still have a mystery with an edge and an excellent plot twist. Slider and his team follow the clues and shift through the evidence. I, for one, will continue to follow this very good series.

HARD GOING (Pol Proc-DI Bill Slider-England-Contemp) – VG
Harrod-Eagles, Cynthia – 16th in series
Severn House, 2014


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