Review of ROAD KILL by Marianne Macdonald (see her website)
A Dido Hoare MYSTERY
Thomas Dunne, St. Martin's Minotaur, September 2000
In the fourth Dido Hoare mystery, antiquarian bookseller and single mother Dido Hoare again finds herself embroiled in murder and mayhem when her mature and reliable nanny and friend, Phyllis, calls for help--from the inside of a closet. Three men have ransacked her apartment and locked her up--but considerately tossed her a cordless phone before they left. It turns out Phyllis's ex-con husband is missing, too, and he quickly turns up dead--murdered.
Dido's concern at first is only for Phyllis, but it soon appears that no one is being honest with Dido--not Phyllis, not the police, not her cop friend, Paul, and especially not Phyllis's sister-in-law, Lal, whose husband is also murdered in short order. Dido herself is being threatened, and the authorities seem more concerned with using her than protecting her.
The case, which involved millions of pounds worth of gold bullion stolen in a heist 12 years ago and some missing bearer bonds, as well as possible police corruption, leave Dido with no one to trust save her father, Barnabas, and her computer whiz part-time employee.
I found the story altogether believable, if a bit slow in places. I love the colorfully portrayed London setting and the mixture of break-ins and burning cars with such domestic normalities as diaper changing and making a cup of tea. The last part of the book provided edge-of-your seat suspense, making me wish more of this fast-paced, tense stuff could have been sprinkled through the rest of the book.
An interesting, well-researched mystery and a likable sleuth. I thought all the characters were realistically portrayed, none of them all good or all bad.
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