How the Dead Live
Serpent's Tail, May 2008, $14.95
He knows the brass hates him as he is a British bulldog with no regard to his superiors, procedure, or the media when it comes to solving a case or for that matter keeping apolitically correct silence when some Home Office idiotic suit lectures. His boss can’t fire him because he is so successful, but tries to exile him whenever a remote area asks for help.
Thus for opening his mouth during a mandatory class, this Scotland Yard detective finds himself leaving London for tiny Thornhill village in Wiltshire to investigate a missing-person. Apparently Marianne Mardy vanished; her husband Dr. William Mardy has not reported her missing; no one has. Since the local police suffer from duck disease up their arse, he is sent to rusticate make that investigate a possible murder so that his boss can have some needed R&R make that the gossipers can rest easy. In Thornhill, the outsider affirms the local police are uninterested in what happened to Marianne. As he keeps digging, he runs into corruption and soon begins to comprehend what happened to Mrs. Mardy when he learns HOW THE DEAD LIVE, but has problems with insuring justice not legal mumbo jumbo truly occurs.
This is a reprint of the third Factory Scotland Yard thriller written by the late Derek Raymond (see HE DIED WITH HIS EYES OPEN and THE DEVIL’S HOME ON LEAVE; neither read by me). Written two decades ago, the tale is a terrific British police procedural Noir narrated by the unnamed detective who is as excellent at solving cases as he is at annoying his boss. Sub-genre fans will appreciate this engaging one sitting detective tale that exposes the underbelly that society pretends does not exist.