Sunday, June 29, 2014

Vertigo 42: A Richard Jury Mystery Martha Grimes

Vertigo 42: A Richard Jury Mystery
Martha Grimes
Scribner, $26.00, Jun 3 2014
ISBN 9781476724027

In Devon, England seventeen years ago, heiress Tess Williamson fell down her home’s terrace steps to her death.  The inquest ruled this tragedy an accident as the deceased suffered from vertigo and there was no evidence of foul play.

However her still grieving widower Tom remains persistent that his wife was murdered.  At the Vertigo 42 bar, he makes a case for New Scotland Yard Superintendent Richard Jury to reopen his wife’s death claiming the motive tied back to five years before his spouse’s fatal plunge when then nine year old Hilda Palmer died after falling into a dry swimming pool at a gala hosted by Tess at her Devon home.  Jury interviews the surviving guests who as children witnessed Hilda’s death over two decades ago, but soon he also investigates the deaths of a woman who fell from a tower and her estranged husband. 

Paying homage to Hitchcock, the latest Richard Jury British police procedural (see The Black Cat) is a thrilling entry in which the past and present are tied together by deaths due to perfidy.  Although the climax is over the top of Big Ben, series fans will relish Jury’s investigation into four deaths from falls.

Harriet Klausner

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