Sunday, 28 May 2017

Murder in the Fourth Round

As a weapon of murder, golf clubs are not an entirely unknown choice. But  a sharpened wooden golf tee, coated with a rare but extremely deadly native Colombian toxin? That has to be a first.

And this is the startling opening premise of the novel "Murder in the Fourth Round" by retired High Court judge Ian Simpson who, upon retirement, moved from judging murder cases to writing about murder cases as a successful crime novelist.

"Before Ballesteros signed his winning score card he was dead" has to be one of the most significant lines in the history of murder novels through the ages.

But who was dead? Tony Spencer.

Who would want him dead and dead in such an extravagant and gaudy fashion?

The police and the courts knew. Or rather, they thought they did. After all, didn't the try and jail the killer, Peter Waldron, a partner of solicitor Tony Spencer in the firm L & P Campbell, Solicitors?

But now, after 31 years, Waldron, dying of pancreatic cancer, is to be released on compassionate grounds.

But then, after the murder of a political activist, DI Flick Fortune begins an investigation which has a group of solicitors as the target. The solicitors had dubbed themselves "The Jolly Boys" and as well as focussing on them,  the investigation is taking a fresh look at the murder of Tony Spencer back in 1984.

She is assisted by DS Baggo (Bagawath) Chandavarkar.

However, trouble -of sorts- comes their way with the arrival of a nemesis from her past, former DI Noel Osborne (formerly of the Met and otherwise described as Inspector No) who has been hired to overturn the conviction of Peter Waldron.

He manages to stir the pot more than a little and to the chagrin of some and the interest of others, the result is that decades-hidden crimes are brought out into the light and suddenly all is not as it seems and events suddenly gather pace as things seem to slip out of control.

So, who did murder Tony Spencer, if it wasn't his fellow solicitor, Peter Waldron?

And why, exactly, did someone -with access to the deadly toxin Batrachotoxin- decide that Tony Spencer deserved death in such a dramatic and theatrical fashion?

This is a real page turner of a crime thriller. I am pleased that Ian Simpson has been brought to my attention. I'll look out for his name in future.

The book is published by Matador at £7.99 and is out now. You can buy it at the That's Books and Entertainments bookshop which you will find here:-https://goo.gl/Ltov34.

It's book number 4 in the Flick and Baggo murder mystery series.

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