My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I haven’t read a Richard Jury novel in a long time (thank goodness for Mom who has kept up better than I and could remind me of Melrose Plant etc). In fact, this is not a good starter novel for the series but since it’s #23 that should be self-evident. It’s also the first Jury novel in four years so.
It’s funny because as I read this and Mom read the latest Elizabeth George novel it felt like she and Martha Grimes took the same premise and wrote their novels on it. There is a modern day killing but the story really has its roots 22 and 17 years ago. Jury is technically on vacation when he’s approached by Mr. Williamson to look into the death of his wife 17 years ago.
Tess supposedly had vertigo and fell down the steps to her death in an empty pool, the same empty pool that claimed the life of troublesome girl 22 years ago. Tess and Tom Williamson couldn’t have kids but she used their wealth and country estate to have parties for kids. One girl, known to blackmail other kids and adults, broke the rule about not going in the back yard and fell to her death. Tess was suspected of killing the girl and a few years later, she too died. Jury’s friend, Macalvie investigated it back then, not convinced that it was an accident.
As Jury starts questioning the kids, now in their thirties, to see if he can get an idea of what happened back then, a young woman dies falling from a tower folly. Since that’s not really his case, Jury leaves poking around that to Melrose while he works on the old case. And then there’s the matter of the stray dog, Stanley.
The reader has to assume that these two plot lines will dovetail somehow and naturally they will. I enjoyed this one though the stuff with the dog does seem to go on rather long on occasion (even though it will be important later). There are several points of view in the novel but mostly it’s Jury’s.
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