Corpse found in Primrose Hill, and the rest is mystery

PUBLISHED: 15:45 09 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:28 07 September 2010

The Beautiful Sound of Silence by Paul Charles (Brandon, £15.99) I bet in his day job Paul Charles spends time keeping the bands he promotes in line, so it is a pity there is no one to return the favour. Charles is the author of numerous DI Christy Kenne

The Beautiful Sound of Silence by Paul Charles (Brandon, £15.99)

I bet in his day job Paul Charles spends time keeping the bands he promotes in line, so it is a pity there is no one to return the favour.

Charles is the author of numerous DI Christy Kennedy mysteries, police procedurals set in Camden Town.

Listening to the Irishman relay his tales of the rock and rollers in his life (he is a music promoter of some renown) would be fascinating. Over a pint or several he would have the audience in the palm of his hands.

But when it comes to the putting those stories on the page, he could do with the heavy hand of an experienced editor.

Rambling can be fun in any form of literature if it moves the story along. When it fails to do that there is a tendency to switch off.

In this story, Kennedy is presented with a corpse that has been fried to crispiness in a Primrose Hill bonfire on a cold November night.

The body turns out to be a copper, whose tactics, before retirement may have been on the other side of criminal. So there is no shortage of suspects.

The love interest is a beautiful crime reporter who works for the Camden News Journal. Why he has got the name wrong throughout the book is anyone's guess. It would have been simpler to feature a journalist from, let's think... I know, the Ham&High.

It's simpler to spell and better known (the prejudiced voice says,) not only in the rest of London but around the world.

Anyway... the name checking is rife - everything from the Jazz Cafe to Camden Lock railway bridge and the floating restaurant on the Regent's Canal gets a mention.

It is an intriguing mystery that will keep you guessing (well, I was baffled) until you get the inevitable (and cliched) kidnapping and stand-off, where the murderer gets to expound on his/her motives, the injustices of the world and why the killing was a righteous act the police had no business meddling in.

Barry Reynolds

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