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Eve of Destruction (Harry Devlin Series #5)

Overview

When Liverpool solicitor and detective Harry Devlin takes on a client who has been taping his wife's telephone conversations with her lover, he gets more than he bargained for. The first mystery is the identity of Becky's boyfriend, whose voice Harry finds oddly familiar. Then, as a case of adultery slides frighteningly into conspiracy to murder, a trespasser makes a shocking discovery: three dead bodies in a converted church. Who are they? Who has killed them, and why? Trapped in a maze where neither victims nor...
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Eve of Destruction (Harry Devlin Series #5)

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Overview

When Liverpool solicitor and detective Harry Devlin takes on a client who has been taping his wife's telephone conversations with her lover, he gets more than he bargained for. The first mystery is the identity of Becky's boyfriend, whose voice Harry finds oddly familiar. Then, as a case of adultery slides frighteningly into conspiracy to murder, a trespasser makes a shocking discovery: three dead bodies in a converted church. Who are they? Who has killed them, and why? Trapped in a maze where neither victims nor apparent culprit are who they seem to be, Harry must go into the dark places of the human heart to find the answers.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Harry Devlin is a younger Rumpole, a lawyer based in Liverpool instead of London but with similar tastes in offbeat criminal cases. His steadier partner, Jim Crusoe, says that "for Harry Devlin, even a bus ticket promised a plot twist," and this fifth book in the series (though the first to be published here) is a jaunty, atmospheric outing just begging to be made into a film for A&E. Devlin is hired by Steven Whyatt, a twitchy man who designs garden mazes, to prepare divorce proceedings against his adulterous wife, Becky. As evidence, the wronged husband produces telephone tapes of Becky and her lover--whose voice Harry recognizes, but is not at first sure from where. Turns out the man is Dominic Revill, an unctuous executive headhunter who lives with his wife, child and nanny in a deconsecrated church. When Revill, Becky and the nanny are found murdered in the former church, suspicion veers between Becky's first husband (a mental patient with a history of violence), Steven's equally violent brother and Steven himself. While trying to win the love of a reluctant lady lawyer, Devlin sorts out the real killer almost by accident. But any lack of plot credulity is more than made up for by some excellent Liverpool jokes (e.g., the sign on a door that reads "THIS DOOR IS ALARMED," next to which someone has scrawled "AND THIS WINDOW IS BLOODY WELL TERRIFIED." (Sept.)
Kirkus Reviews
Though Liverpool solicitor Harry Devlin's making his first appearance on this side of the pond, he's already had too much experience defending lowlifes like teenaged car-thief Shaun Quade to accept the tale that Steven Whyatt tells him. Yet accept it he does, swallowing Whyatt's story that he's tapped his own phone lines because he suspects his wife Becky's been two-timing him, and that he's got the lovers' conversations on tape although he doesn't know who the other man is and can't even bring himself to listen to them anymore. The whole setup screams setup, but Harry just keeps swallowing each piece of the puzzle he's fedþidentifying Becky's jolly friend as staffing consultant Dominic Revill; insinuating himself into the acquaintance of Revill, his wife and partner Emma, and the coupleþs smoldering nanny Evelyn Bell; learning that Becky's first husband has been released from a mental institution and is now phoning her in heavy-breathing silence; listening to Whyatt complain about the perfidy of his brother Jeremy and Jeremy's wife Michelle, who are pressing him to sell the family nursery to a beastly corporation that will make it impossible for Whyatt to practice his best-loved vocation of designing garden mazesþand all the while overhearing Becky's plans gradually escalate from adultery to murder. Luckily, Edwards, who edited last year's Crime Writers anthology Perfectly Criminal, has more tricks up his sleeve than the Whyatts do, and some of Agatha Christie's trick of making you look exactly the wrong way.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393337747
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/1998
  • Series: Harry Devlin Series , #5
  • Pages: 212
  • Product dimensions: 0.48 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 8.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Martin Edwards is one of Britain's most talented young crime writers, whose atmospheric writing, sharp characterization, and ingenious plotting have won him wide critical acclaim. He is the editor of (and a contributor to) the 1997 Crime Writers' Association anthology Perfectly Criminal and author of several previous detective novels. He lives in Liverpool, England.
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Table of Contents

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