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by John Baker
Orion, February 2003
314 pages
9.99 GBP
ISBN: 0752856626

Sam Turner is in Nottingham on a case when his ex-wife, Amanda, is murdered. Then, the next woman he was involved with, is also stabbed to death with a bayonet. While the flood waters rise in York, Sam tries to protect his current lover, Angeles Falco, and figure out who is targeting him while he tries to stay out of the hands of the police.

Sam flees to Oslo, where another of his ex-lovers now lives. Geordie is called to help and he keeps Holly's flat under surveillance. Geordie is badly injured when he confronts the murderer, and Holly's lover finds Sam with the dead body. Sam flees back to York, where the flood waters are still rising, to try and protect Angeles and Alice Richardson, his present and previous lovers. It's obvious that the killer is murdering all the women in Sam's life, in the order in which they appeared. Sam has to stay ahead of the police so he can try and find the deranged murderer. Amanda's current lover is sure that Sam murdered Amanda, so he is also after Sam.

This is Sam and Geordie's book. Geordie has grown from the street urchin we met in POET IN THE GUTTER to a man with a wife and daughter,but he still has an insatiable love of learning. Sam is in desperate trouble throughout this book but he still has his support staff behind him. Marie and Celia have their own troubles. Marie's des res near the river is flooded and Marie has moved in with Celia for the duration. Celia has a brain tumor.

The structure of this book is very different from the classical mystery. We know from the beginning who the murderer is and what he is doing. We learn why about 2/3 of the way through. We know what he is going to attempt to do and we want to tell Sam to be careful, but he is beset from all sides..the police want him for the murders, Amanda's lover wants to kill him and so does the murderer. This is a very elegant book. Reading a new Sam Turner book is like visiting old friends.

Reviewed by Barbara Franchi, February 2003

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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