By Peter Bartram
Books, an imprint of John Hunt Publishing Ltd.
Reviewed by Cherie Jung
Colin Crampton, crime correspondent for the Brighton Evening Chronicle, has a problem. His editor wants some hard crime news but there isn’t any. “What’s a journalist to do?” he laments, as the summer’s heat bakes him in his office, long after the other reporters have headed for the pub, “Manufacture a crime? Mastermind a crime?”
By the end of page one, I knew I liked Colin Crampton and author Peter Bartram’s breezy writing style!
The year is 1962, the setting Brighton, England. It’s late on Saturday and Crampton’s editor has just ordered him to have a crime story for Monday’s edition and to “…make it a stronger story than a dirty old man with his trousers round his ankles.” As if on cue, the jangle of the telephone brings a tip from a local detective inspector. The owner of a miniature golf course has disappeared.
Crampton is leery that an actual crime has been committed. Most people who disappear, do so because they don’t want to be found for some reason, or they disappear then change their mind and come back. Not the hardcore crime Crampton is looking to investigate for his column.
Detective Inspector Wilson reminds Crampton of the third possibility. The missing person comes back dead, although he quickly assures Crampton he can’t guarantee a dead body. However, he suspects the golfer didn’t intend to leave because he left his equipment and balls behind.
HEADLINE MURDER has a noir-ish feel but readers do not need to be fans of noir to enjoy the book. The author gives the readers much to enjoy both in the setting and characters as the story unfolds. Readers will immediately take to the protagonist, Colin Crampton, and will be eagerly awaiting his next investigation.
Copyright © 2015 Cherie Jung. All rights reserved.
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