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Kelly, Jim - 'Death Wore White'
Paperback: 400 pages (Feb. 2009) Publisher: Penguin ISBN: 0141027517

DEATH WORE WHITE is a departure for Jim Kelly. I'm a fan of his Philip Dryden series, but this is a whole new thing for him.

This new series, set in Norfolk, features a duo of cops, unwillingly partnered. DI Peter Shaw is the son of a previous partner of DS George Valentine. They have history and it's not looking good for the partnership. Shaw thinks Valentine is past it, and Valentine thinks Shaw is a stuck-up fast tracked college graduate who has got too big for his boots.

It takes a grisly, complicated murder to bring the two together and part of the delight of this book is how the two men learn to respect each other as they work.

The murder is a classic locked room mystery, only this one happens in a snow-bound car, trapped at the head of a column of other similarly trapped cars. How the murder was committed and by whom is the crux of the book and the plot is handled competently by Kelly. There are several suspects, each with motives of varying degrees. There are more bodies too - one washed up on the shore near the stranded cars and one found on a sandbank by some cockle-pickers.

Kelly keeps the multi-stranded investigation flowing nicely but what I liked best about the book, was the burgeoning relationship between the two detectives. I can see this turning into a great series - I can even see a TV adaptation - and I look forward to the next instalment.

Pat Austin, England
February 2009

Pat blogs at
Mysterious Yarns.

Details of the author's other books with links to reviews can be found on the Books page.
More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 14/08/2010 21:16