Rathe could hear those mad dogs barking. It was early evening, the time when people without murder in their lives begin to think about an evening meal.
Music was playing low in the back-ground, a classical piece which Cook only knew as Mahler because the digital display on the music system told him it was. Cook had accepted a bottle of Italian lager, refusing the offer of a glass, and Rathe sat across from him in a luxuriant armchair with a glass of Burgundy.
It had taken Rathe less than ten minutes to bring Cook up to date with the interview with Mack. Rathe sipped the wine. At least for the time being. Cook was nodding. Besides, Mack said the voice on the phone had been a young kid.
Nervy, he said, softly spoken. Does that sound like Lenny Voss? Cook drank some of the lager. Cook leaned forward, warming to his theme. Rathe drank some wine with a smile. The whole trial was a circus.
When all this started, we talked about justice being blind. Perhaps she should always be blind, but she should never be stupid. You were right, Cook. People wanted Mack off the streets at any cost. It was never a question of proof. It was simply a question of convenience. It was me. He stood up and paced towards the fireplace, as though he felt the confession would come more easily to him if he was moving. Always tried to do the right thing, to get the result which meant the system could do its job.
Not till now. The Lanyon case was different. I believed Nicholas Barclay killed Richard Temple. And we got it right in the end. But this time, I was wrong. I knew all that and I just went with it. That makes me as bad as them. Rathe stood up and moved next to Cook. They stood staring out of the French windows, across the expanse of lawn which stretched out into the fading sunlight. It went wrong, yes, but not because of you and you alone. Cook looked across at his companion. Cook drained his bottle.
Rathe turned slowly to face the inspector. You have to find out what really happened and put it right. Through the correct processes. And Rathe now recognised it for the plea it was, for the request for help that it had been, the unexpected display of vulnerability from Cook took him by surprise.
He found himself nodding his agreement, not daring to speak in case his chosen words were misguided and he belittled the humility of the moment.
Cook acknowledged the agreement with his own bow of the head and they turned back to look out over the lawns, allowing the shift in their relationship, however brief or understated it had been, to settle. The girl eyed them both with suspicion, but it was for Cook that she reserved the majority of her dislike. Her hair was bleached blonde, a longer and straighter version of Monroe; whilst the peroxide matched the paleness of the skin, it contrasted starkly with the heightened darkness of the lashes and the livid crimson of the lips.
Beneath it all, Rathe thought she might have been naturally pretty; certainly, despite the harshness of her stare, the eyes were a delicate shade of green which he thought he could never remember seeing before, and the lips were naturally full beneath their clown-like adornment.
The falsity of her cosmetics was all the more gaudy next to the natural beauty which lay beneath it. A right victim of yours, my Harry is. He pointed to the drink. She looked around the cocktail bar. Harry takes me to places like this all the time. And he owns them all. Cook raised a glass of whisky to his lips. Because this one, see, is legitimate. It was later that same night. Mack gets bored easily. If they can still earn money for him, he puts them back where he found them.
The streets. Rathe had remained silent for some time. Which is why it had been difficult for Rathe and Cook to prise her away.
As he thought it, Cook felt a twist of repulsion in his stomach at the filthy obligation he felt on account of his personal instincts and conscience. The things he felt he had to do just so he could sleep at night. Carla took a long drink, her eyes bulging at the taste. So drink it slowly. Rathe felt it was time to intervene. She looked at him initially with the same glare of contempt which she had reserved for Cook, but his voice changed her expression and those green eyes became warmer.
Lovely, it is. Despite himself, Rathe felt his cheeks glow and the hairs on his neck rose slightly. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Would You Rather? Would You Rather? When Flick's dad discovers that he's adopted, so begins a mystery that leads him to a long lost secret at the very heart of their family - one that leads back to a choice that was made many years ago, and once uncovered, will rock Flick's world!
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I just loved the way the plot unfolded and the characters were intresting. These four stories, linked by how Rathe is racked with guilt over the suicide, explore crime from a different angle: determination to find the truth, no matter how inconvenient to the investigating officer, Inspector Cook.
The reader is invited to join Rathe in solving these complex mysteries. The first story, Burial for the Dead , exposes sordid family history that led to a murder in a church.
In A Question of Proof , Inspector Cook needs Rathe to unravel an underworld murder; in Ties that Bind Rathe solves a crime of passion; and in The Quick and the Dead , modern slavery intrudes into his own personal life.
The mysteries were well written with refreshing style. The author cannot rely on red herrings, a host of possible suspects, or deeply technical sleuthing. The scene, character and plot must come immediately. The four novellas of this book are masterpieces of their kind.
He is now a shade of his former self, haunting the cemetery staring at gravestones meditating on justice. Until, that is, he is forced to consider not investigate really four different murders, one for each novella.
Each story is different and enjoyable, if a bit reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes written by Martin Gatiss. I liked the character Rathe very much. This felt more like a gentlemanly approach to crime detection. The fact that Rathe was trying almost to redeem himself from his previous behaviour made him even more appealing.
Each case was self contained and fairly succinct. I enjoyed the change in pace from more grisly stories. As a result, haunted by guilt and shame, Rathe finds himself investigating crimes of passion where injustice is evident. He is a wonderfully incongruous mix of the stoical and passionate. Here we have a character who is intriguing and pleasingly different from the run of the mill sleuths who people modern crime fiction. Indeed his heritage is in the tradition of the unusual golden age detective who is neither a tired policeman nor the risibly eccentric private detective.
He is a very welcome addition to the raft of modern crime solvers. The characters are expertly drawn and psychologically accurate. While at times we are in Agatha Christie whodunit territory with the plots which challenge the reader to spot the culprit before the denouement, the literary quality of the writing adds an elegant and realistic patina to the narratives.
Indeed on occasion he sometimes seeks his help, albeit begrudgingly. The two men rub each other up the wrong way most of the time, but Booth subtly reveals that there is a respect growing between them.
Set in the present but written in a style that suggests a much earlier time setting. So much so that, for me, I slipped into the past and then was jolted back to the present by some mention of technology. This made for an interesting read! Anthony Rathe considers himself guilty of the death of a young, troubled man who, upon being found guilty and sentenced, subsequently killed himself in prison. Rathe finds out later that he was actually innocent of the crime he was imprisoned for and so visits his grave often throughout the book and, despite assurance from the boy's mother, still holds himself responsible.
To try and gain some redemption, he makes it his mission to solve other injustices.
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