Who Killed Vivien Morse? is a mystery set in the countryside of Britain. Filled with quirky characters, the mystery weaves its way through the clues, enticing the reader along, until the final, unexpected outcome. It is the fourth in a series of mysteries involving the character DCI (Detective Chief Inspector) Hatherall along with an interesting plethora of supporting characters; a chain smoking neurotic housewife, her bat crazy daughter, and rightfully angry husband along with a pleasantly plump dowager and her paramour, a hippie Druid priest. And let’s not forget Fiona, Hatherall’s right hand—uh—woman, who has more than one secret of her own. (Honest, I’m not making this up.)
Through the twists and turns of this delightful story, you will be hornswoggled more than once by false trails and misleading clues until finally the case is solved—except not completely. In the end, Hatherall, in a moment of inspiration brought on by a stranger in a pub, puts the final pieces together and closes the case.
Sherlock Holmes this is not. A fascinating, compelling story that draws you in and hooks you subtly, Vivien Morse will leave you wanting to know more about Hatherall, a thinking man’s detective who never gives up until every piece falls into place.
Innocence is a story about corrupt police in Britain. The prose is short and choppy, filled with incomplete sentences. It gives the story a gritty feel, almost like rough sandpaper. In addition, it’s filled with British slang that I’m completely unfamiliar with. As a result, I found it confusing and difficult to follow. I had to figure out what a lot of things meant from the context, and some things were a complete mystery to me. For example, apparently the word “nick” has several meanings in Britain. Just when I thought I had it figured out, the context of its usage threw me for a loop.
I suspect this book might be more interesting to people more familiar with the slang. For me, it was a very difficult read.
I just finished reading Lateral Hazard. If you enjoy reading mysteries, you will enjoy this one. It has more twists and turns than a mountain trail. At various times I suspected several of the characters in the book, only to find that I was completely wrong. Once you’ve read it, and know who committed the murder, you will, like me, shake your head and say, I didn’t see that coming.
The writing is excellent. The story moves along quite nicely. At first I was bothered by the fits and starts, jumping from one character’s story to another’s, but in the end, it all made perfect sense and was quite enjoyable.
It’s quite easy for me to see this book being made into a movie, a movie that does quite well at the box office. One of the main characters is a quite despicable, amoral attorney. Another is his lovely, talented and much-ignored daughter. Each of the characters in the story is inflicted with faults and failings as well as admirable qualities, and all are quite believable.
Buy this book. Read it. You won’t regret it.