Thursday, January 31, 2019

Murder in Hyde Park (DCI Isaac Cook #10), by Phillip Strang

Phillip Strang, January 2019

An early morning jogger is killed in Hyde Park, in the center of London, and because of the hour, there are no witnesses. He's carrying no ID--not unusual for a jogger--and his phone, soaked in the Serpentine, takes a while to coax information from.

When they find a name, they gradually start to build a picture of a man with two identities, a male escort, a man called beautiful by everyone who knew him. His beauty attracted both men and women. His beauty plus his occupation and his distance sometimes caused conflicts.

And some of his customers were highly motivated to keep their involvement with him secret.

Was his killer a spurned lover? A jealous spouse? Someone who feared being outed?

DCI Isaac Cook and his team have very little to go on, and finding clues in this case is like pulling teeth.

Our regular characters continue to grow and develop. Isaac Cook has a live-in lover who doesn't love his unreliable schedule, but is handling it better than previous women he's been involved with--enough better that he plans to take her to Jamaica to meet his parents, if the trip doesn't get canceled by his work. Larry Hill is coming to terms with where he is in his career, and Wendy Gladstone takes, it seems to me, a larger role in this investigation.

Strang is always good with both characters and plot. This is a longer, more convoluted story, with twists and turns and quite a few people who have potential yet weak-seeming motives that leave the team frustrated. Another frustration is that some are also engaged in sensitive work that makes the government protective of them. As always, we care about the outcome, and the tension builds.


I received a free electronic galley of this book from the author, and am reviewing it voluntarily.

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