20 December 2014

A Review of Julius Falconer Series: ‘The Bones of Murder’

Having now had the pleasure of reading several of the ‘Wickfield’ chronicles, I find the stories just keep getting better and better. What I want to know is, how does the author do it? The writing makes for effortless reading and seems to cover all aspects of human nature.
In The Bones of Murder, the police have to delve quite deeply into the seamier side of life, in order to get at the truth of family conflicts, disappearances and possibly murders, which happened decades ago. The bodies of three people; are dug up by the Hothersall’s: new house owners, as they prepare for renovating projects, and the skeletal remains, show distinct signs of murder. This is clearly one for Worcestershire C.I.D’s, finest: Detective Inspector Wickfield and his trusty assistant, Sergeant Spooner.
Apart from the fact that this is a baffling cold case, presenting many difficulties, not least that the murderer may be long dead, the reader is let in on a personal conflict, between Inspector Wickfield and the author, as to who is the most trustworthy: apparently Wickfield is upset that the author is portraying him as a bit of a buffoon, lurching from one failed theory to another.
I seem to recall, Sherlock Holmes taking issue with Doctor Watson about the way some of his cases had been dealt with.
I have to say I take the author’s side in this debate, as this is what makes the stories so interesting. Unlike some American detectives, who are unbelievably, all seeing and all doing 24/7, superheroes, Wickfield comes across as an ordinary chap, having to do an extra-ordinary job. We see him, as he is - warts and all!
Eventually, after many leads have failed to unmask the culprit, the detective discusses the case with his wife Beth, and the conversation opens up new initiatives, leading to an arrest and conviction.
A gripping tale and definitely one to share with your friends!
Harry Riley
 
Paperback | Waterstones | Amazon UK

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