Feeling the in the mood for a little Christmas story? Maybe not a traditional one? Perhaps one that includes murder? Look no further.
David Lawrence's Cold Kill is the third installment of his fine Stella Mooney novels. It is Christmas time in London, and women are getting a hammer to the head, stripped, and garroted. A man walks into the police station to confess, and it appears that Stella has a nice, neat end to the murders. But there isn't enough to keep and charge him, and he walks free. But the murders don't stop, which means that Stella and her team are working overtime, during the holiday season, to bring an end to the killings. And when it appears that this isn't the work of just one person, things really get interesting.
I find that I really like the way Lawrence writes; the characters, the settings, the dialog. He isn't afraid to show you parts of London that aren't on the tourist maps. His characters, among them Stella Mooney, are complex individuals, well thought out and defined. And the dialog is believable, for the characters, for the setting. This books moves along at a very nice clip, picking up steam at every page. Just when you think that you know where it is going, Lawrence throws a little twist to keep you guessing. He introduces a couple of minor characters, early on, keeps us in contact with them throughout the novel, and then used them in very particular scenes. Scenes that are core to the book. I never saw that coming as Lawrence kept me focused on some other aspect of the novel.
As I noted, it seemed that this was a fairly straight forward case, until things get . . . complicated. Whether it is personal issues, with several of the characters, pressure from the police force to wrap the case, or from several interesting characters, this book really holds your attention. This is another excellent Stella Mooney novel. She is fast becoming one of my favorite female characters in fiction.
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