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Marilyn StasioDavid Lawrence's debut procedural, The Dead Sit around in a Ring, measures up with an interestingly flawed heroine, an English copper named Stella Mooney who has a knack for catching the most gruesome crimes on her beat, and a perspective on London that is darker and grittier than in conventional treatments. But the writing is the thing. Whether he's describing a bizarre death scene (''Four people sitting in a ring. . . . All looking inwards, all leaning slightly forward as if staring at something that lay at the center of the ring'') or observing a group of streetwalkers plying their night trade (''The lights changed to red. It was raining. They were selling sex in the rain''), Lawrence, a published poet, writes with a delicacy and restraint rare in the genre.
— The New York Times