The Headhunters (Inspector Mallin Series #2)

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Overview

"'I could cheerfully murder my boss,' Gemma remarks over coffee. She and her friend Jo joke about fantastic ways of committing the crime. The game is so amusing that on a double date with Jake and Rick they discuss forming a murder society and soon the quartet are calling themselves 'The Headhunters.' But some of Rick's suggestions sound uncomfortably serious." On the following Sunday morning, Jo is horrified to find a dead body on the beach at Selsey. It takes the police some time to identify the victim and by then Gemma and Jo together have
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The Headhunters (Inspector Mallin Series #2)

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Overview

"'I could cheerfully murder my boss,' Gemma remarks over coffee. She and her friend Jo joke about fantastic ways of committing the crime. The game is so amusing that on a double date with Jake and Rick they discuss forming a murder society and soon the quartet are calling themselves 'The Headhunters.' But some of Rick's suggestions sound uncomfortably serious." On the following Sunday morning, Jo is horrified to find a dead body on the beach at Selsey. It takes the police some time to identify the victim and by then Gemma and Jo together have found another corpse. This time it's a colleague of Gemma's. Worse still, Gemma's boss is missing....
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Lovesey's second novel starring Chichester CID inspector Henrietta "Hen" Mallin (after 2005's The Circle) provides further proof that the CWA Diamond Dagger winner has no peer in presenting a traditional mystery, with all the clues hiding in plain sight. When a half-naked female body washes up on a beach, Mallin and her team must identify the woman as well as determine whether she met her end through foul play. Before the corpse can be named, Jo Stevens, who found the body tangled in seaweed, comes across another one in remarkably similar circumstances. Fearing that she'll fall under Mallin's intense scrutiny, Stevens fails to report this second death. Between the alternating perspectives of Mallin and Stevens, the suspense builds, enhanced by credible characters and healthy doses of black humor. The police eventually connect the two cases and focus on Stevens's new beau, a laconic ex-con who had a past with both victims, but the solution is, of course, not so straightforward. Inspector Mallin deserves as long a fictional career as Lovesey's other current series sleuth, Peter Diamond. (Apr.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

In this second novel (after The Circle) to feature Inspector Henrietta "Hen" Mallin, Hen suspects a woman might be more directly involved in the murder of her boss than she admits. Award winner Lovesey never fails to entertain: his books are as complicated and well written as those of Ian Rankin and John Harvey. Here, the suspense will keep readers turning pages long into the night. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ12/07.]


—Jo Ann Vicarel
Kirkus Reviews
Master craftsman Lovesey (The Secret Hangman, 2007, etc.) flaunts his deviousness with a plethora of wickedly plausible suspects. Gemma loathes her boss at the printing firm. Mr. Cartwright is so nice he's icky. Besides, she tells her pals Rick, Jake and Jo, a new employee, Fiona, has caught his attention and may use her feminine wiles to replace Gemma. So Rick, Jake, Jo and Gemma jokingly come up with ways to kill the loathed Mr. Cartwright. When he and Fiona go missing, the mock-conspirators come in for fierce police interrogations. Then Jo stumbles on a drowned woman in Selsey, near the site where a prehistoric mammoth was found 20 years ago. Worse, she finds another drowned woman in the mill pond opposite Fiona's house and yet another under the tarp covering Cartwright's swimming pool. Who are these women, and why have they been killed? Because he has a record, Jake comes under police suspicion first; then Rick, who has a bit of a temper; then the first victim's husband, a philandering professor on that mammoth dig. Jo, doing a touch of sleuthing herself, almost becomes the killer's final drowning victim before the coppers, abetted by a sweet little old lady in a pink hat, save the day. Lovesey makes it virtually impossible to figure out whodunit before he reveals all. Catnip for enthusiasts of the classic puzzler.
From the Publisher
“A thoroughly delightful detective story, old-fashioned in the way that reminds us why we started reading and loving mysteries in the first place.”—Otto Penzler, New York Sun

The Headhunters offers proof once again that nobody can write the modern traditional detective novel as perfectly as Lovesey.”—The Denver Post

“Further proof that [Lovesey] has no peer in presenting a traditional mystery.... Mallin deserves as long a fictional career as Peter Diamond.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“Virtually impossible to figure out whodunit.... Catnip for enthusiasts of the classic puzzler.”—Kirkus Reviews
 
“The suspense will keep readers turning pages long into the night.”—Library Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781410409799
  • Publisher: Gale Group
  • Publication date: 9/3/2008
  • Series: Inspector Mallin Series , #2
  • Edition description: Large Print
  • Pages: 562
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Lovesey is the author of more than thirty highly praised mystery novels. He has been awarded the CWA Gold and Silver Daggers, the Cartier Diamond Dagger for Lifetime Achievement, the Strand Magazine Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Macavity, Barry, and Anthony Awards, and many other honors. He lives in West Sussex, England.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    a unique English police procedural

    Near Selsey, Jo Stevens saw what she thought was a beached dolphin amongst the trash that came ashore on the beach. However, she got closer and realized she found a half naked woman dead amidst the seaweed and garbage. Chichester CID Inspector Henrietta 'Hen' Mallin and her team lead the official inquiry starting with who she is and whether her death was an accident or a homicide.---------- However, before the cops can dig into the case, Jo finds a second corpse eerily similar to the first one she reported. This time she fears telling the cops because the coincidence is too weird and she would become the prime suspect of two murders. She fails to inform the police. When the body is reported, Hen and her subordinates focus on Stevens and even more on her boyfriend who knew both victims.------------- THE HEADHUNTERS is a unique English police procedural as the storyline rotates points of view between the inspector and the corpse finder especially fascinating is reading the logical rationalization of Jo when she fails to report the second dead body to the authorities. Fans will appreciate this diamond of a tale as Hen and her CID team works on solving the two homicides while also seeking her first investigation (see THE CIRCLE).---------------- Harriet Klausner

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