Signal for Vengeance

Signal for Vengeance

Book - 2016 | First edition
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1860, Wimborne, Dorset. Rebecca Tullidge, miserably married to her callous husband, finds some escape through a love affair with another man. After putting her drunk husband to bed one Saturday night, she sneaks from their lodge to meet railway officer, John Bedloe. But much to her horror, she trips over her love''s corpse on the railway tracks. The railway director calls Inspector Colbeck and Sergeant Lemming in from London to solve the hideous crime. As the pair arrives in the countryside, they find there is no shortage of difficult personalities and conflicting alibis, making the mystery much harder to unravel. On discovering Bedloe had plenty of enemies as well as a sordid past, Colbeck and Leeming must unearth which of them is capable of plotting a violent murder. Could it possibly be a woman, distraught that he'd taken another lover? Or a jealous husband who detected an affair? With pressure mounting from all sides, the Railway Detective is tasked with uncovering the truth.
Publisher: London : Allison & Busby, 2016
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 0749020016 (hardcover)
9780749020019 (hardcover)
Branch Call Number: M MARSTON
Characteristics: 351 pages ; 23 cm

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Roundcat
Apr 21, 2018

Another in the growing series of Railway Detective mysteries presents Colbeck and Leeming with a victim that has so many enemies, it is a process of elimination to figure out who the murderer is. Colbeck is requested especially, so that a candidate for Mayor of Wimborne, Feltham, can take credit for calling him in to solve the crime. This presents an impediment, since Feltham wants to be involved in solving the crime. For once their boss, Tallis, is a help, and gives Feltham such a dressing down, that he sinks into the background. While Colbeck is out solving the murder, his wife, Madeleine, is about to give birth to their first child and making friends with a woman involved in a previous case, Lydia Quayle. Sgt. Leeming's wife, Estelle, has been watching over Madeleine, and sends Madeleine's father to fetch Colbeck, when the birth becomes problematic. Sgt. Leeming gets to finish up the case and wins Tallis' approval for a change. All the pieces fit together well, everyone gets their just punishment or reward. Maybe it's a bit too pat, but all's well that ends well, and we see a new side of Tallis and are introduced to the next generation of Colbecks. The characters are well drawn and believable, the mystery is not obvious, and Sgt. Leeming learns that driving a horse is not as easy as it seems--a little comic relief.

l
Liber_vermis
Feb 12, 2018

Detective Inspector Robert Colbeck tears himself away from London even though his wife Madeleine is about to give birth to their first child. Colbeck and his colleague Sergeant Victor Leeming soon have a list of a half dozen suspects in a quiet southeast England county. This police procedural thriller carries over a pair of characters from the previous book "Timetable of Death" but the author provides enough background to avoid disrupting the flow of this tale. How did Colbeck get to the 'surprise' ending? Is the murderer's wife the other paramour of the victim who was code named "Betty"? Will the Colbeck's daughter grow up to be the first female detective inspector at Scotland Yard to break the prohibition enforced by Superintendent Edward Tallis? Although fingerprints were known to be unique to each individual by 1788, it wasn't until 100 years later that they were used to solve crimes, so Inspector Colbeck did not have this tool available to solve this brutal stabbing murder.

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