Plots and Errors

Overview

When Andy Cope and his wife, Kathy, owners of a struggling detective agency, are found dead in their car - peacefully holding hands and apparently asphyxiated - Detective Chief Inspector Lloyd rejects the majority opinion that they committed suicide. His theory, that the Copes were murdered, receives serious consideration when their one client, wealthy Mrs. Angela Esterbrook, is shot to death. Why would someone with her sort of money employ an untried agency to carry out an investigation? That's just one of many ...
See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (52) from $1.99   
  • New (3) from $2.99   
  • Used (49) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

When Andy Cope and his wife, Kathy, owners of a struggling detective agency, are found dead in their car - peacefully holding hands and apparently asphyxiated - Detective Chief Inspector Lloyd rejects the majority opinion that they committed suicide. His theory, that the Copes were murdered, receives serious consideration when their one client, wealthy Mrs. Angela Esterbrook, is shot to death. Why would someone with her sort of money employ an untried agency to carry out an investigation? That's just one of many puzzles that Lloyd and his partner, Judy Hill, confront in a case that defies reason.. "With the megamillion Esterbrook fortune hanging in the balance, multiple murder is perhaps inevitable. For the curtain is just now rising on a tragedy of Shakespearean grandeur. But no one, not even the cunning killer, anticipates how the plot will take on a lethal life of its own - beyond everyone's control.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A DAZZLINGLY DEVIOUS TANGLE OF CLUES AND COINCIDENCES . . . RICH FLAVOR."
--Chicago Tribune
Times (London)
McGown always manages to people her books with characters who are entirely believable, fascinating human beings. This is rare skill... Jill McGown is one of the most seriously underrated crime novelist around.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780449002537
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/28/2000
  • Series: Inspector Lloyd and Judy Hill Mystery Series , #10
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 1,208,292
  • Product dimensions: 4.17 (w) x 6.86 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

A native of Argyll, Scotland, Jill McGown has lived in Corby, England, since she was ten. She wrote her first novel, A Perfect Match, in 1983. Among those that have followed are Gone to Her Death, Murder at the Old Vicarage, Murder . . . Now and Then, The Murders of Mrs. Austin and Mrs. Beale, The Other Woman, A Shred of Evidence, Verdict Unsafe, and Picture of Innocence.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

SCENE I--BARTONSHIRE

Saturday, September 27th, 11:00 a.m.

The garage and various rooms of a semidetached house in Stansfield
Detective Chief Inspector Lloyd looked at the two bodies in the elderly
Ford Fiesta and sighed.

The man, he had never met. He was about Lloyd's own age--late forties,
early fifties; difficult to say at the best of times, and this was not the best of times. He had more hair than Lloyd, but most people did. He had the same dark colouring, but he was much bigger, taller. The car had been specially adapted for a disabled driver; he was in the driving seat.

The woman he had met, and had worked with, but that was a long time ago now. She had been twenty-four when he'd seen her last; she had left the job to marry the man whose hand she had been holding while their car had filled up with lethal fumes, pumped through a vacuum-cleaner hose from the exhaust pipe.

"Their daughter found them this morning, sir," said the constable. "She walked along the passage between the house and the garage, to the back door of the house, and heard the engine. She pulled the hose from the exhaust, but she couldn't get into the car to turn off the engine."

The garage, its overhead door closed and firmly locked, still held the heavy odour of exhaust gases; the small door at the rear stood wide open to admit as much fresh air as possible, but even diluted and dispersed,
the pollution in the atmosphere was unhealthy. Undiluted, confined in the small car, it would have been lethal in about ten minutes.

"It wouldn't have made any difference if she had. They'd been dead for hours by the time she got here," said the Forensic Medical Examiner,
straightening up from the car. "Life pronounced extinct at . . . " She looked at her watch. "Eleven-seventeen a.m.," she said, and smiled at
Lloyd. "I'm a bit puzzled about why you're here, Chief Inspector. How come you got called out? Am I missing something?"

"No," Lloyd said. "You're not missing anything. I'm not here on duty--the officers dealing thought I'd want to know, that's all."

He could hear his own Welshness when he spoke; usually his accent was very carefully controlled, ranging from barely discernible to impenetrable,
depending on the impression he was choosing to give. It was when he got what Detective Sergeant Finch called a gut-feeling that it popped out all by itself. From his soul, he liked to think, rather than his gut.
"I knew Kathy--twenty years ago, admittedly, but I knew her." He smiled at the slightly wary look on the FME's face. "I wouldn't rush round to see all my friends' dead bodies," he said. "But I want to be sure that this is really a suicide pact, because I don't think Kathy was a quitter."

"Oh, I'm sorry," she said. "I didn't realize you knew her. But there's nothing to suggest she didn't go through with it of her own accord."

"No," sighed Lloyd. "But it doesn't add up," he said, almost to himself,
then smiled apologetically at the doctor. "Kathy always had a tendency to wade in first and think second," he said. "She never thought ahead. She survived by finding a way out of whatever problem she found herself with.
She was famous for it."

"Well," said the doctor doubtfully, "this is a way out."

"True," Lloyd conceded. "And I don't know what her problems were yet--this may have seemed the only way out." He took the notes that she had made.

"Thank you, Doctor," he said, lifting a hand as she left. "Where's the daughter now?" he asked the constable.

"She's with Sergeant Alexander in the house, sir."

Mary Alexander had joined Bartonshire Constabulary on the same day as
Kathy White, as she then was, and Lloyd, and there was a bond between raw recruits all learning the ropes together that never quite went away; she had known that Lloyd would want to be sure of this one.

Lloyd walked past the young man and stood in the open door at the rear of the garage. "Odd, about this door being unlocked," he said. "Don't you think?" He didn't wait for a reply. It was just a little puzzle. "Don't stay in there," he said. "You can keep an eye on things in the fresh air."
He went along the pathway to the back door, knocked, and let himself in.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)