Murmuring the Judges (Bob Skinner Mysteries) by Quintin Jardine
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|Murmuring the Judges (Bob Skinner Mysteries) by Quintin Jardine|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: It's the eighth book in the series and there's still a remarkable freshness about the stories. A good police procedural read with an ongoing, interesting backstory.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 416||Date: November 1998|
|External links: Author's website|
An armed robbery trial was taking place in Edinburgh's old Parliament House: all the usual court business seemed to be going on as usual when the judge collapsed in agony. It looked like a heart attack, but Lord Archergait had been poisoned. Deputy Chief Constable Bob Skinner's private life might have a more normal look about it, now that he and his wife are back together, but the Archergait poisoning is not his only professional problem: there's a wave of brutal robberies and the perpetrators are ruthless in their efficiency. Clues are few and far between in both cases. Then another judge dies - and this time there's no doubt that it was murder, and a brutal one at that.
I'm binge reading all the old Bob Skinner mysteries at the moment and it's proving to be a particularly satisfying exercise. They'd all read perfectly well as stand alones, but there's no doubt that you do get more out of them if you read them in chronological order, not least because the private life of the deputy chief constable and his staff can be difficult to follow otherwise. They all come off the page well and stay in the mind long after you've finished the book. I worry about some of the characters...
The sense of location is particularly good too, particularly for Edinburgh and East Lothian. I've walked the city streets in some of the cases; I've even had maps up on screen so that I could visualise exactly what's happening and where. I'd don't know the East Lothian coastal area well, but I've actually researched some of the places because I want to know them better. The plot has some twists I could never have spotted for myself, the clues go back years - and the solution is particularly satisfying.
I've been having problems with my vision, so rather than read the series I've been listening to audio downloads (which I've bought myself) narrated by James Bryce, who seems to have taken on the mammoth task of narrating all the Skinner books (that's twenty six as at July 2016) and turning a cast consisting mainly of middle-aged male Scots who would probably all sound pretty much the same in real life into individual personalities. The voices are consistent from one book to another too. This is proving to be a great, indulgent read.
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