>Martin Edwards, Yesterday´s Papers (1994)


This mystery is the fourth in the British series about Liverpool lawyer Harry Devlin. I have not read the first books, but the writer sent me this one as a pleasant (and signed) surprise!

The plot of this one is a fine cold case mystery. Thirty years ago, pretty young Carole Jeffries was strangled in the park near her own home, and almost before the police have had time to look around for a suspect, her weird neighbour confesses to the murder and is convicted. Even so, he does not seem able to live with his guilt, and after a botched attempt he commits suicide in prison.

On the surface a straightforward, uninteresting case, but when old Ernest Miller approaches Harry Devlin, wanting him to take a look at what seemed to be a ´perfect murder´ because ´the true culprit escaped scot-free´, Devlin cannot help feeling interested. As soon as he has had time to take a closer look at the old files and expresses his growing interest in the nearly forgotten murder, Miller seems to lose his own engagement in Carole´s death, however.

Though it should be impossible to solve a crime that was committed so long ago, Devlin puts his stubborn curiosity to a good cause and eventually makes real progress. Perhaps even so much that his surroundings begin to feel threatened.

Besides an interesting set of characters, especially Harry himself, the book conveys a vivid sense of Liverpool of the 1960s, including the optimism in the wake of the Beatles´ success.

240 pages may be regarded as a fairly short book based on today´s standards, but “Yesterday´s Papers” is a perfect story for readers who love twists and turns!

My review of Waterloo Sunset, the eighth Harry Devlin novel and The Serpent Pool, Martin´s latest book.

About Dorte Hummelshøj Jakobsen

I am a Danish teacher. In my spare time I read, write and review crime fiction.
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