Cover Image: THE WOODS MURDER

THE WOODS MURDER

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Member Reviews

Another cracking story from Roy Lewis. A step back in time when crime, even murder appears more gentle.  A great way to read an easy story line. Chief Inspector Crowe hets his man with a surprising end.
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I enjoyed this book, it was a good story with lots of twists and turns.  I enjoyed the setting back in the 60's, it made a nice change to reading detective stories set in the current day.  The main character was interesting, a good police officer but not a perfect one which made him quite likeable despite his rather bizarre appearance.  It was not easy to predict the killer because there were lots of "red herrings" which made the story all the more enjoyable and satisfying in its conclusion.
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A good, old style whodunit. The book aged well and it's pleasure to read about discoveries based on deduction more than scientific tests.
I love this book and look forward to reading other in this series.
Recommended!
Many thanks to Joffe Books and Netgalley for this ARC
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Jenny Carson was just nine years old when she was murdered whilst taking a shortcut through Kenton Woods.  Her father blamed lawyer Charles Lendon for her death - not that he thought he was physically responsible, but because Lendon had refused to allow the local children to use his driveway as a shortcut to school, forcing them to cut through the woods if they were late.  Lendon wasn’t a popular man - he would say that lawyers never are - partly because of his attitudes, but his incessant womanising had made him a lot of enemies.  When Lendon was murdered a couple of months after Jenny’s death, there was no shortage of suspects.

Cathy Tennant was an articled clerk in Lendon’s office.  She knew his reputation, but was unworried by it.  Their relationship was purely professional and she respected what Lendon did for her.  Her boyfriend, Mike Enson, was less sanguine, but, unknown to Cathy there was a history between Lendon and Enson’s family.  Neither man was happy about Cathy’s association with the other.

Detective Chief Superintendent Hugh Simpson was of the opinion that he and the local force could handle the investigation into the two murders without outside assistance.  Chief Constable Rogers was of a different opinion and essentially it came down to finance.  If Scotland Yard was called in within the first twenty-four hours it would be cheaper for the local force - and so Detective Chief Inspector Crow arrived to take over the investigation into the death of Charles Lendon.

I enjoyed this book a great deal more than I was expecting to.  It’s set in a simpler time - probably the early seventies - before mobile phones and DNA testing and it’s obvious from the beginning that the plot is not going to be complex, but it is sound.  Author Roy Lewis has a background in the law and as Charles Lendon is a lawyer this creates an authenticity often lacking in similar plots.  The characters are good if occasionally two dimensional, but I read the book in less than twenty-four hours, preferring it to other leisure activities.  I’d be happy to read more from Lewis.
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This is a good quick read. This book is very dated in places and everything is solved by reasoning and deduction rather than DNA evidence. It is still a good story. This is the first book that I have read by Roy Lewis. I probably will read more. 

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy.
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I would like to thank Netgalley and Joffe Books for an advance copy of The Woods Murder, the third novel to feature DCI John Crow of Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad, originally published in 1972.

When solicitor Charles Lendon is murdered Canthorpe’s Chief Constable calls in outside help from Scotland Yard, reasoning that his local team has enough on its hands with the unsolved murder of nine year old Jenny Carson, not that the team agree. John Crow is the man sent to solve Lendon and only Lendon’s murder.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Woods Murder which is a good, old fashioned whodunnit with plenty of twists and turns. I used to read Mr Lewis’s books in the 80s and 90s but this is my first encounter with DCI Crow so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Firstly I was surprised that there is no sense of location as his other series are so firmly rooted in the North East. Canthorpe could be anywhere in England. Apart from this it is a fairly “straightforward” police procedural with an unlikeable victim and a plethora of suspects, all with plausible motives. Obviously with the novel being written in the 70s there is no forensic science to speak of so the investigation boils down to deductive reasoning and, here, Mr Lewis plays his cards close to his chest with the reader being made aware of certain evidence but not being given the content immediately, rather, being left to wonder. I think some readers will find it intriguing, others annoying. I enjoyed the whodunnit aspect of the novel, finding it logical and believable although some of the motives and attitudes do date the novel. 

The Woods Murder is a good read which I have no hesitation in recommending.
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