I thoroughly enjoyed the previous book I read in this series, Shadow Play, and was delighted when I saw this offering on Netgalley, so tucked right in…
When one of London’s best-known literary agents is found dead in strange circumstances, having fallen headlong from his office window, DCI Slider is under pressure from the Borough Commander to confirm a case of accidental death. But when the evidence points to murder, Slider and his team find themselves uncovering some decidedly scandalous secrets in the suave and successful Ed Wiseman’s past. An embittered ex-wife. A discarded mistress. A frustrated would-be author. A disgruntled former employee. Many had reason to hold a grudge against the late lamented literary agent. But who would feel strongly enough to kill him?
This is a classic police procedural, where the focus of the story revolves around the main protagonist, Bill Slider, who heads up the murder squad. As the investigation progresses, we discover more facts about the dead man and his life. And along the way, we also get a ringside seat into Bill Slider’s life, too. I like the fact that he is married with a small son and between them, they sometimes struggle with childcare when work builds up. I also like the fact that he is happily married and a concerned boss who tries to do the best for the team working under him. He isn’t magnificently defiant to his irritable bosses, either. He keeps his head down and his sour thoughts to himself, which nonetheless make entertaining reading.
At the heart of the story is the murder, of course. And Harrod-Eagles once more delivers a nicely twisty mystery with all sorts of plausible suspects that give us interesting glimpses into the publishing world. I didn’t see the resolution coming, but it made absolute sense and I was also very taken with the sudden domestic bombshell that emerged at the end of the book, too.
Any niggles? Well, just one – there were some rather flashy noirish phrases in the early stages of the book that caught my attention, until they completely disappeared around the halfway mark. There should be either more of them, or none at all. That said, I’m conscious that this is an arc, so this issue may have been fixed by the time this book comes to publication. Recommended for fans of intelligent, well-written murder mysteries with not too much gore.
While I obtained an arc of Headlong from the publisher via Netgalley, the opinions I have expressed are unbiased and my own.
This sounds like a well-done procedural, Sarah! Wonderful review and I hope you have a terrific weekend! ♥️
Thank you for your kind good wishes, Jennifer – I hope you, too, have a great weekend:)
21 books?? That is a crazy long series. Have you read them all?😊
I know – it is long, isn’t it? Nope. I’ve only read the last two… I keep meaning to go back and read from the beginning, but so far haven’t managed to get around to it. However, I didn’t find it a problem, or prevented me from thoroughly enjoying the books.
This does sound like a good read! I shall make a note of the title. 🙂
It’s a really solidly written murder mystery and a good series:)
I can’t believe how many books are in this series! It’s quite daunting. Although, you’ve managed to get on board later on so perhaps not as daunting as it first seems and I do enjoy a good police procedural.
It really isn’t at all daunting as I had no problem whatsoever in working out what was going on:)
I like it when murder mysteries also offer some side glances into the main characters’ personal life – it gives them a more rounded, more… human structure, and makes them more real.
Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Thank you, Maddalena for swinging by:)). Yes – it makes all the difference to get great insights into characters’ lives, donesn’t it?
I have another book by this author and have been really wanting to try her mysteries. This one sounds really good despite the change in phrasing.
She’s very prolific – my mother absolutely LOVES her historical series and has bought every one of them – and regularly rereads them, too…
This sounds like a good solid police procedural and something that I would enjoy. Good to know that you enjoyed the last two without having to go back and read them from the beginning. Nice review Sarah.
Thank you, Carla – yes, she is a good writer and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed these two books and would recommend them to anyone who likes police procedural. And no… you really don’t need to read the previous books to appreciate the story:)
When it is such a long series, that is good.