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Published: 17 March 2016
Reviewed: 15 May 2016

4 out of 5 stars
Copy supplied by Urbane Publications

 

Description:

The genteel façade of London’s Hampstead is shattered by a series of terrifying murders, and the ensuing police hunt is threatened by internal politics, and a burgeoning love triangle within the investigative team. Pressurised by senior officers desperate for a result a new initiative is clearly needed, but what?

Intellectual analysis and police procedure vie with the gut instinct of ‘copper’s nose’, and help appears to offer itself from a very unlikely source – a famous fictional detective. A psychological profile of the murderer allows the police to narrow down their search, but will Scotland Yard lose patience with the team before they can crack the case?
Praised by fellow authors and readers alike, this is a truly original crime story, speaking to a contemporary audience yet harking back to the Golden Age of detective fiction. Intelligent, quirky and mannered, it has been described as ‘a love letter to the detective novel’. Above it all hovers Hampstead, a magical village evoking the elegance of an earlier time, and the spirit of mystery-solving detectives.

My Thoughts & Review:

I’ve had notes written down about this book for months, but can’t believe that I’ve never actually moved this review from more than draft stage *bad reviewer*

Death in Profile encapsulates the feel of classic crime and is a wonderful change of pace from the modern day gritty (and sometimes gory) crime novels.
Written as a more intellectual crime novel as opposed to an action thriller, the story focuses on the investigation into the deaths of 5 women in Hampstead in London.

The characters in this are absolutely great, they are engaging and interesting, the author takes great care to ensure that they are portrayed well throughout the book.  I especially liked the dynamic between the “old school” detective and the “new school” detective, their differing techniques and approached to investigating were very well detailed and interesting to read.

The mystery in the story is superbly created, red herrings and twists aplenty to keep the reader guessing throughout.  My smug feeling that I had worked out “whodunnit” was short lived when turned the page – foiled!  There are clues scattered throughout the narrative, and it is possible to work out the culprit, it’s quite nice to feel that that you are piecing the clues together along with the detectives, trying to work it all out.

I appreciate that some people may not like this book, it may be too “cozy” for some, there is no gratuitous violence, it’s not dark and gritty.  Think Agatha Christie or Dorothy Sayers, back to the Golden Age of detective stories and you will be on the right track for this book, it’s a lovely change of pace from a gruesome and dark thriller.

I  don’t usually comment on the cover of books, purely because I am bad for being attracted by an interesting cover….yes I admit it, I sometimes only pick a book when my eye is caught by a cover….
But in this instance, I will make mention of the lovely cover.  The blood spatter over the artwork is brilliant, I absolutely love it!  It gives a hint towards what lies inside the book, there’s almost an eerie feeling emanating from it which adds to the intrigue.

I eagerly look forward to the next book from Guy Fraser-Sampson.

You can buy a copy of Death in Profile here.

 

About the Author:

Guy Fraser-Sampson is an established writer, having published not only fiction but also books on a diverse range of subjects including finance, investment, economics and cricket. His darkly disturbing economic history The Mess We’re In was nominated for the Orwell Prize. His Mapp & Lucia novels have all been optioned by BBC TV, and have won high praise from other authors including Alexander McCall Smith, Gyles Brandreth and Tom Holt. The second was featured in an exclusive interview with Mariella Forstrup on Radio 4, and Guy’s entertaining talks on the series have been heard at a number of literary events including the Sunday Times Festival in Oxford and the Daily Telegraph Festival in Dartington. With Death in Profile he begins a new series entitled The Hampstead Murders. Set in and around the iconic North London village, the first book in the series sees a team of detectives pursuing a serial sex killer while internal politics and a love triangle threaten to destabilise the enquiry. Harking back (sometimes explicitly) to the Golden Age of detective writing, Death in Profile introduces us to a group of likeable central characters whose loves, eccentricities and career ups and downs will be developed throughout the series. Very different from the contemporary model of detective novel, Guy’s innovative style and approach has been endorsed by leading crime writers such as Christopher Brookmyre and Ruth Dugdall.

 

 


			

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