Dying Fall

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Pub Date 01 Feb 2022 | Archive Date 31 Jan 2022

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Power, money, murder . . . Investigating a seemingly accidental death leads DCI Bill Slider and his team down a dark path in this gripping British police procedural.

The woman lies dead at the foot of the stairs. It’s obvious what happened: she tripped and fell. But PC D’Arblay, called to the dilapidated West London villa by an anonymous tip-off, can’t shake the feeling that’s exactly what someone wants him to think.

It was the deep head wound that killed her – but her dying fall left no blood trail, so what was it she hit her head on?

DCI Slider, of the Shepherd’s Bush murder squad, is soon convinced D’Arblay’s right. But with no motive, no murder weapon and no idea even who the victim is, Slider faces steep odds to get a result . . . while each painstaking step towards the truth brings him closer to a ruthless, evil killer.

The Bill Slider series is in “a league of its own” (Publishers Weekly Starred Review). If you haven’t met Slider and his team yet, why not start now?

Power, money, murder . . . Investigating a seemingly accidental death leads DCI Bill Slider and his team down a dark path in this gripping British police procedural.

The woman lies dead at the foot of...

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ISBN 9780727850188
PRICE $28.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 24 members

Featured Reviews

Cynthia Harrod Eagles is one of my favorite authors. The characters are so well drawn, the dialogue so appropriate, and the puns so fun. But after 22 books in this series, will this title be as good as the rest? YES!, it's one of the best. She gives an insightful look at policing - the frustrations, the budgeting, and the politics. All the while planting clues if only we had the wit to see them. The mystery is satisfying and I can't wait for the next one.

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An anonymous call has come in that there is a dead woman at Dunkirk house in a high end London neighborhood. PC D'Arblay is waiting at the door when Atherton and Slider arrive. The woman is artfully laid out at the foot of the stairs, and there is a hole in the rug at the top, but the wound on her head couldn't have been received from the stairs. Two of the keys in her pocket with a tag from the Historic Buildings National Drawings Archive are for doors in Dunkirk house. There is no ID, no purse, and little furniture in the house. However, there is traces of blood in the stocked kitchen.

Slider goes to the Historic Buildings National Drawings Archive, is shown a picture of their secretary, Prue Chadacre, who he recognizes as the dead woman. He gets her address, and since he has the keys, he goes there. She lived very simply, but he finally finds a drawer in the living room with birth certificates and family pictures. She was born Kate Prudence Armstrong, daughter of Sandra May Chadacre and Magnus Armstrong, a well known milionaire philanthropist (she must have changed her name). She also has the birth certificate of her brother Philip Armstrong, Dunkirk house was owned by the two of them. Prue's mother had died of drowning in the bathtub at Dunkirk house 20 years before after divorcing Magnus.

There isn't a lot to go on for Slider and his team, and he continues to get requests from his bosses to declare the case an accident and close it. However, Slider continues to try to find justice for Prue. He looks into the brother Philip, the father Magnus, and Tony Scrimgeour, who she met at the Archive and others there think they have been seeing each other. However, he can't find Philip or Tony, can't figure out a motive, and can't find the murder weapon. Magnus lies to him and has too many important, powerful friends. However, that doesn't stop Slider who keeps plugging away along with the rest of his team and slowly he learns more and eventually solves the case.

This is a great story with believable characters and a great plot!

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This is one of the best books in the series, and it was a very sad story about corruption and betrayal and greed.

An elderly woman makes an anonymous call to 911 to report a dead body at Dunkirk House in Uxbridge Road, Shepherd’s Bush. When DCI Bill Slider and his sidekick DS Jim Atherton arrive they do indeed find a dead woman at the bottom of the stairs. She is well dressed and looks fit. But there are some inconsistencies which give them pause for thought - the house does not look lived in, the woman’s handbag is nowhere to be found and a hole in the carpet at the top of the stairs where one might trip looks suspiciously recent. The pathologist confirms that the woman’s head injuries are not consistent with a fall down stairs so now it is a murder investigation.

The woman’s identity is eventually confirmed as Prue Chadacre and, although she had the keys to the house the listed owners are a Phillip and Kate Armstrong. Where are Phillip and Kate? And who are Prue’s next-of-kin? Eventually they learn that Kate Armstrong changed her name to Prudence (her original middle name) Chadacre (her mother’s maiden name) but the woman is still a mystery. People she has worked with describe her as pleasant but very reserved. No one really knows her.

Police learn that Kate and Phillip grew up in the house and their mother died in the house by accident or suicide when they were teenagers. The death was never investigated properly but there was some suspicion attached to Phillip. It was never proven and Phillip is now almost a ghost, very hard to pin down.

Still, nothing is as it seems. And who is the man, using the name of a dead person, who befriended Prue recently through her work? There are still many secrets to uncover but this is where I must leave it. The ending was so very tragic and sad when you learn the lengths some people will go to for their own advancement. Many thanks to Netgalley and Severn House for the much appreciated arc which I reviewed voluntarily and honestly.

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Bill Slider and Jim Atherton are called to the scene when a woman’s body is found at the foot of her stairs, but seems to be posed to make it look like an accident. The top brass are frustrated when Slider insists on finding out who killed Prue Chadacre, especially when he learns there was another suspicious death in the same house twenty years earlier.

Dying Fall is part of the long-running Bill Slider Mystery Series and I have enjoyed many of the prior books in the series. Bill Slider is a good boss, husband, and father and the author does a great job of showing him at home as well as on the job, without detracting from the main plot of the book. There is just enough information about his personal life that you get to know him as both a detective and a person.

Cynthia Harrod-Eagles is a master with words. The dialogue throughout the book is very realistic, and the clever, “punny” chapter titles added to my enjoyment of the book. There is plenty of the expected banter between Bill and his colleague and friend, Jim Atherton. I really liked the new team member DS Leanne Jenrich who is temporarily filling in on the case and hope she can become a permanent member of Slider’s team. This is a well-written book, and I love the details of the case, which turns out to be heartbreaking. I like the way it takes hard work on the part of the whole team to solve the case.

I received this ebook from NetGalley through the courtesy of Severn House. An advance copy was provided to me at no cost, but my review is voluntary and unbiased.

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Bill Slider and his team have another strange case to solve. A woman is found lying at the foot of the stairs after an anonymous phone call. A policeman's suspicions are validated when the postmortem examination proved that it was not the fall that killed her. But now the body needed to be identified, motives found, and culprits bagged. The team had to work hard to find clues, but their hard work paid off in the end when a very nasty person is jugged for multiple crimes. A very twisty addition to this series.

Thanks Netgalley for the chance to read this title.

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The latest DCI Bill Slider police procedural maintains the high quality of its predecessors in the series. The investigation proceeds in a professional manner, with the detectives pursuing leads against the background of departmental pressure to wrap things up. There’s just enough personal and family detail about Slider and colleagues to keep things interesting without diminishing the pace of the story. Porson’s malapropisms are more off the rails than ever, and the puns scattered liberally throughout the book are deliciously awful. I haven’t quite gotten the hang of who’s who in Slider's department, with the exception of key colleagues like Atherton and Porson; the detectives seem to be more numerous with every outing. Fans of the series will enjoy this entry.

Thanks to Severn House and Netgalley for a digital advance review copy.

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Cynthia Harrod-Eagles's mysteries are always well written and gripping. This one is no exception and met all my high expectations as I read it as fast as I could.
Dark, twisty, and complex. It's a sometime sad and riveting story.
Good storytelling and character development.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine

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