A Portion for Foxes (Chief Inspector Morrissey Mysteries)
He shook my hand, took off his shoes, lay on a sofa and started telling me what the music business was and how I would fit in. I could have been offended but I actually thought it was pretty funny. And what does his wife, actress Billie Piper, think? She started out as a teenage pop star, but gave it up at Has she given him any advice?
Neither of us give each other advice. But we do give each other a lot of support. She gets that this has been a passion for a long time. And yes, a few of the songs are about her and about us. Then, as they're barely into their investigation, more trouble looms with the disappearance of Liz Pardoe, a student at Malminster's Brindley College—her lover, Paul Hanson, frantically pestering police and college officials, even after a phone message with a voice sounding like Liz's is left on the college switchboard.
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Paul's direst fears come true, compounded by another campus fatality. There are more killings in the homeless population, and outside it, as the murderer seeks to erase his trail, before Morrissey, Barrett, and their overstretched team ferret out the psychopath, finally brought to bay—unlike the fox whose comings and goings run a leitmotif throughout the story. The author's work, at its finest here, combines sharp psychological insight, a lucid picture of the nuts and bolts of solid policing, sympathetic probing of intimate relationships, and, above all, the ability to build and sustain an atmosphere loaded with anxiety and suspense—all defined by a literate style that's never pretentious but, at times, approaches poetry.
For police procedural fans, and others: an uncommonly rewarding experience.
But his widow Claire is sure there's something more behind his death—a feeling reinforced by the disappearance of his briefcase and an anonymous telephone threat to her young children. Meanwhile, Morrissey and capable sidekick Barrett are working on incidents of race hatred violence that are slowly emptying a neighborhood built on potentially valuable land—land coveted by a corrupt band of town planners, aided in no small way by their spy in the police department.
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Mitchell's sensitive treatment of the domestic lives of her heroes and villains is as artful as her skill at weaving all the dangling threads of a complex puzzle into a coherent, totally compelling whole. A can't-put-it-down gem of a British procedural.