Death of a Hollow Man (Chief Inspector Barnaby Series #2)

Death of a Hollow Man (Chief Inspector Barnaby Series #2)

3.0 1
by Caroline Graham
     
 

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Actors do love their dramas, and the members of the Causton Amateur Dramatic Society are no exception. Passionate love scenes, jealous rages-they're better than a paycheck (not that anyone one in this production of Amadeus is getting one). But even the most theatrically minded must admit that murdering the leading man in full view of the audience is a bit over the

Overview

Actors do love their dramas, and the members of the Causton Amateur Dramatic Society are no exception. Passionate love scenes, jealous rages-they're better than a paycheck (not that anyone one in this production of Amadeus is getting one). But even the most theatrically minded must admit that murdering the leading man in full view of the audience is a bit over the top. Luckily, Inspector Tom Barnaby is in that audience, and he's just the man to find the killer. With so many dramas playing out, there's no shortage of suspects, including secret lovers and jealous understudies galore.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby, familiar from Graham's The Killings at Badger's Drift , returns here to deal with a very public murder in his quiet English village. The egocentric and widely disliked leading man for the town's amateur theater group has slit his own throat with a ``safe'' prop in front of a full house, including Barnaby and his daughter (Mrs. Barnaby is a member of the theater company). The inspector must sort out the killer from a very traditional cast of suspects: the play's director whose ego matches--if not surpasses--that of his dead star; the leading man's bitter ex-wife; his current wife, whose faithfulness is less than perfect; the young second lead, who nurtures serious ambitions for the ``real theater''; and various crew members. Particularly well drawn are Nicholas, the young actor, Deirdre, the assistant stage manager--whose primary concern is her senile father--and a homosexual pair responsible for design and lighting. A most enjoyable read, right down to the classic gathering of all the suspects at which Barnaby reveals the killer and the motive. (Jan.)
Library Journal
The Causton Amateur Dramatic Society's production of Amadeus provides ample grist for Graham's delightful rumor mill. Immersed in their roles, various idiosyncratic participants in the play amuse themselves with gossip, posturing, cruel jokes, and, finally, murder. Given an insider's advantage because of his wife's involvement, Detective Inspector Barnaby ( The Killings at Badger's Drift, LJ 1/88), witnesses the staged ``murder'' and thus gains a head start with his investigation. The British author achieves her purpose with a fine cutting edge--detailed, witty, and observant--that slides the action along well-oiled tracks. Don't miss this.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781933397269
Publisher:
Felony & Mayhem, LLC
Publication date:
03/28/2006
Series:
Chief Inspector Barnaby Series , #2
Pages:
308
Sales rank:
202,397
Product dimensions:
5.75(w) x 7.61(h) x 0.68(d)

Meet the Author

CAROLINE GRAHAM was born in Warwickshire, England. Her first Inspector Barnaby novel, The Killings at Badger's Drift, was selected as one of the Top 100 Crime Novels of All Time by the Crime Writers' Association.

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Death of a Hollow Man (Chief Inspector Barnaby Series #2) 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Compared to the previous book in the series, this was a slow one. The body doesn't show up until the half-way mark. Due to the complicated relationships between the characters and the fact that Inspector Barnaby was familiar with most of the suspects, having worked on previous sets for the CADS, a certain amount of set-up was necessary for the story. It would have felt forced and unnatural to shoehorn all that information and backstory in after the murder. However, just because I understand why the book was laid out like this doesn't excuse the fact that it ran a little long. This was a re-read and I remembered quite a lot from the first time and I still kept thinking, "When is he going to die already?" The ending itself was also a bit of a letdown from The Killings at Badger’s Drift. The way Inspector Barnaby revealed who the murderer was felt out of character to me. After recovering the razor, would Inspector Barnaby really go to the theater and confront everybody like that? From my reading of his character he would be more likely to pull the killer aside, mention how he had a few follow-up questions for everybody and then arrest the killer. He never struck me as a showboat and that's what the ending felt like, showing off. I gave this book 3 1/2 stars it just wasn't as good as The Killings at Badger's Drift.