Selected by The Times (London) as one of the twentieth century’s “100 Masters of Crime,” Jill McGown writes mystery-suspense novels with plots that defy second-guessing. In Unlucky for Some, her thirteenth book featuring Detective Chief Inspectors Lloyd and Hill, the quiet life of an English town scarcely conceals the deadly menace lurking around dark corners and within the human mind.
Michael Waterman is a self-made millionaire. His casinos and nightclubs ensure a constant flow of cash, and Waterman knows what he needs to do to keep it that way. So far, it seems, he has stayed on the right side of the law. Certainly, no one seriously suspects him of murdering bingo player Wilma Fenton, who was struck down while walking home with a purse crammed full of winnings. Her murder looks like an ordinary mugging except for one oddity: The killer had left Wilma’s money neatly fanned out across her body.
The motive behind the bafflingly violent act dogs Lloyd and Hill– now married and the harried parents of a two-year-old daughter. The stakes are raised with a second murder, modeled on the first . . . and then a third. A cold-blooded killer is challenging not only the police but the one witness to the first slaying: England’s premier expert on serial crime, well-known journalist and TV personality, Tony Baker. It has now become a twisted game of madness and logic–in which failure to outwit the murderer means more senseless deaths.
In this astonishing Lloyd and Hill novel, Jill McGown’s storytelling genius will captivate longtime fans as well as first-time readers. Unlucky for Some is lucky for alladmirers of virtuoso suspense writing.
Thirteen proves to be a lucky number for British author McGown, as the 13th outing for her detective chief inspectors, Lloyd and Hill, amply justifies her selection by the London Times as one of last century's Masters of Crime. Her engaging husband-wife team find themselves matched with an extremely cunning serial killer. The bludgeoning of a bingo winner seems to be a simple mugging gone bad, until the police discover that the victim's winnings were left behind, displayed on the corpse in a perverse arrangement that hints at a cryptic deeper significance. Lloyd and Hill are put under additional pressure by the presence at the crime scene of a legendary reporter who had shown up the police two decades earlier by singlehandedly averting a miscarriage of justice through his identification of the real South Coast murderer, a serial slayer. With this entry, which may strike some as an homage to Agatha Christie's classic The ABC Murders, McGown's series can legitimately be compared to Peter Lovesey's outstanding Peter Diamond novels, blending police procedural and twisty whodunit tropes with sardonic humor and byplay between members of the police force. While she's not yet a household name in U.S. mystery circles, this excellent effort could-and should-change that. Agent, Vanessa Holt (U.K.). (Jan. 25) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.