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The Ring of Death


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About the Author

Spencer was born and brought up in Cheshier. She has been a teacher in England and Iran.


Fans of The Dead Hand of History (2009) will welcome Spencer's second mystery featuring Det. Chief Insp. Monika Paniatowski set in 1970s Lancashire. Early one morning in the woods outside Whitebridge, a dog breeder discovers the naked, mutilated body of a man in his mid-30s. Particularly shocking is that the dead man is on his hands and knees, rigor mortis keeping him in position. Monika and her team get to work on the case and soon learn the victim is Andrew Adair-a recently discharged army officer who was one of the paras involved in the notorious 1972 Bloody Sunday killings in Northern Ireland. Before the team makes much headway, a similar murder occurs, and Monika realizes she must figure out what message the killer is trying to send with the posed corpses-and fast-before the violence escalates. A witty protagonist and a likable supporting cast redeem what is otherwise a formulaic police procedural. (June) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

A man is tortured, murdered, and left in a gruesome pose in the woods outside Whitebridge, England, and DCI Monika Paniatowski's team catches the case. Adding to Paniatowski's difficulties as a female Chief Inspector is the assignment of a new sergeant with issues. The possibility that the team may be up against the IRA and the return of her personal nemesis, Mr. Forsyth (Home Office or MI5), causes Paniatowski to question her decisions. VERDICT This second entry in Spencer's spinoff series from her Charlie Woodend mysteries (after The Dead Hand of History) grabs the reader on the first page and never lets go until the shocker of an ending. Like Lynda La Plante's DCI Jane Tennison in the "Prime Suspect" series, Paniatowski must deal with the negative climate found in a male-dominated police establishment, Heartbreaking and heart-wrenching, this is Spencer at her best. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 1/10.] Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

"Spencer delivers another first-rate whodunit"--Kirkus Reviews
"As usual, Spencer produces a hugely entertaining police procedural, but it's her keen perception of human nature and her ability to draw flawed but sympathetic characters that make this extension of the Woodend series such a standout"--Booklist
"Heartbreaking and heart-wrenching, this is Spencer at her best"--Library Journal

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