3rd July 2020. 2 stars.
The story starts with a patient murdering a nurse at an asylum twenty years ago and moves swiftly to 2002 and Detective Inspector Angel, a brash Yorkshireman in a provincial town. I enjoyed the gentle pace and local feel and settled into the story.
It soon became clear that Angel had a way of policing that didn’t tally with the procedure book. Old-fashioned and a bit of a dinosaur, his actions and dialogue started to remind me of a 1970s stand-up comedian. With more sayings and similes than you can shake a stick at, his humour became tiresome as the book progressed, intruding into the narrative.
Having read past the halfway mark, I stuck at it to see how Angel would solve the crimes. While creative and mildly amusing, his investigation and actions seemed to be inspired by Tom Sharpe, stretching the credibility of the story.
While I accept that some police officers in the early millennium could still be old school and relics of the past, Angel’s character felt overdone. The humour didn’t always temper the impact of his behaviour and comments, which rather took the edge of a neat and well-disguised twist at the end.
I’d like to be more positive as the plot is well put together, but I couldn’t warm to the character of Angel.
MEET DETECTIVE INSPECTOR MICHAEL ANGEL. AN OLD-SCHOOL POLICEMAN WHO SOMETIMES RUBS HIS COLLEAGUES UP THE WRONG WAY. HE’S GOT HIS FLAWS, BUT HE NEVER GIVES UP ON A CASE.
PLEASE NOTE THIS BOOK WAS FIRST PUBLISHED AS “IN THE MIDST OF LIFE.”
For Inspector Michael Angel, the savage murder in an insane asylum twenty years ago marks the beginning of this gruesome trail of enquiries to find missing nurse Fiona Thomas.
In spite of obstruction from the chief constable, this quirky Yorkshire policeman reduces the suspects to one, by resorting to an unusual and original strategy.
A dead woman wearing one stocking inside out, an American class ring, a missing videotape of the lovely Lola, and two dead cats all play their part in this scramble to find the killer in this unusual and gripping mystery.