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Based on an Edgar-nominated A&E Mystery Movie, this slick debut by a former policeman delivers an adept splicing of the choicer elements of Patricia Cornwall's Kay Scarpetta books and Lynda Laplante's Prime Suspect TV movies with a smaller helping of P.D. James thrown in for good measure. Set in East Anglia and featuring forensic pathologist Samantha Ryan, McCrery's tale relies on both police and medical detailing in the hunt for a multiple killer. Two corpses turn up in odd, secluded places with upside-down crosses carved into the bodies and with garlands of a rare ivy nearby. Both victims, Mark James and Frances Purves, were friends of Bird, a nightclub owner with an interest in witchcraft. Bird's fingerprints are found in Purves's car, and the cord from the inside of his club's door chime is found to be the garroting weapon. An open and shut case? Detective Harriet Farmer is clearly convinced. Ryan naturally isn't so sure. Although some readers will likely find the proceedings a little too derivative, most will be engrossed by what is an expertly realized work from start to finish.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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ISBN-10:  0312291973
ISBN-13:  978-0312291976
Author:  Nigel McCrery
Publisher:  Thomas Dunne Books
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review by . February 26, 2011
Having enjoyed the recent addition of England's Simon Beckett's to the intensely crowded North American forensic pathology thriller field, I was looking forward to another rural mystery with that uniquely British cultural flavour. Nigel McCrery set his debut novel, SILENT WITNESS, in East Anglia where pathologist Samantha Ryan assists the local constabulary in the hunt for a serial killer that seems to be dabbling in the occult. Not merely dispatched with mundane work-a-day strangulation, …
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