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Death Line (1995)

af Geraldine Evans

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396514,186 (3.33)Ingen
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Viser 1-5 af 6 (næste | vis alle)
Rafferty and Llewellyn investigate the death of Jasper Moon 'seer to the stars’ who is found dead on his consulting-room floor. ( )
  Vesper1931 | Jul 29, 2021 |
It is a very enjoyable old fashion murder mystery. There are a few slow parts in it, but is a very easy read without knowing exactly who the actual killer is until almost the end of the book. ( )
  tabicham | Jul 22, 2017 |
Originally published in 1995, Death Line is the third installment of the long-running Rafferty and Llewellyn detective series, recently re-released in electronic format. This time, they set about solving the murder of Jasper Moon, a well-known "seer to the stars". With high profile clients, wealthy business partners, and disgruntled employees all under suspicion, it's up to this duo to discover the truth behind this theatrical man's death. Along the way, they'll face their own prejudices and learn the value of an open mind.

Having finished the novel, I am compelled to applaud Evans' ability to keep a girl guessing. Alibis were seemingly airtight, motives flew about in a plausible manner, and minor details came into play in grandiose fashion. The slow reveal of lies and various connections between the characters made me feel as if I were sleuthing alongside the crude, determined Rafferty and his uptight colleague Llewellyn; unlike many a mystery novel, Death Line avoided dashing me about as if I were a mere spectator to their impossible brilliance. The two are understandably human, which ties into the preconceived notions that nearly ruin their investigation.

One of the major topics tackled in this novel is homosexuality, including the perceived need to masquerade as heterosexuals in a social climate unwilling to accept gays. Evans explores the psychological impact of such playacting on the men in question and the women and children most readily involved in their lives. Ever the politically incorrect nonconformist, Rafferty's terminology and suppositions can be somewhat boorish, bordering on offensive, but they highlight the character's ingrained homophobia and the challenges that face him in overcoming it.

The language is very British in terms of the dry wit, the colloquialisms, and the various references to European history. For Americans, it may take a moment or two to adjust, but it's a comfortable read once you get going. Personally, I like the smart tone of voice; my issue is primarily with the first chapter, in which various sentences are so dense with information that it's hard to keep track of the point. Granted, it's probably intended to illustrate Rafferty's train of thought, but it can be a bit of a turn-off (of the rambling variety). This tendency does wane later on, though the questionable use of en dashes does not.

On the whole, Death Line is one of the better mysteries I've read. I plan to look into the rest of the series when I get the chance.

Hide and Read
(Review copy provided by the author) ( )
  hideandread | Sep 11, 2011 |
Geraldine Evans has recently re-released her Rafferty and Llewellyn Mystery series in ebook format after it has enjoyed a fourteen book publication run with Macmillan and Severn House in the UK in the early 2000's.
Death Line is the third in the British police procedural series that teams the dynamic DI Joe Rafferty with the straight laced Sergeant Dafyd Llewellyn who are investigating the murder of Jasper Moon, a celebrity 'seer to the stars'. Found dead in his office with a crushed skull, the flamboyant man has his share of admirers and enemies and the pair must determine who is responsible for his violent death.
This is a skillfully plotted mystery with no shortage of suspects. Evans creates a cast of authentic characters whose flaws put them each in the frame as suspects. Rafferty and Llewellyn investigate the leads methodically, but even as they eliminate a suspect doubt lingers, and it is not until the very end that the murderer is identified. There are surprising twists that keep the reader guessing every step of the way.
Rafferty is a likeable character, intelligent and committed to his job he has an irreverent sense of humour and enjoys sparring lightly with the sedate Llewellyn. Their partnership works well, though in this book at least, Rafferty is definitely in control.
There is an added depth to the story as prejudice is explored and confronted. Rafferty has to reconsider his preconceived notions of Moon as an egocentric, eccentric homosexual as he investigates the man's past. He is very nearly diverted by his bias and it's satisfying to have Rafferty recognise his flaws.
From the first page I found Evan's writing style comfortable and engaging. Death Line is a clever and entertaining police procedural mystery that I really enjoyed. A quick search of my local library revealed several of the Rafferty and Llewellyn mysteries on the shelves and I plan to pick up a few on my next visit. ( )
  shelleyraec | Aug 26, 2011 |
Article first published as Book Review:Death Line by Geraldine Evans on Blogcritics.

For a man known for his ability to read the future, Jasper Moon was totally unprepared for his own death. Killed with a blunt instrument, his own crystal ball, his death brings up more questions than answers. For Inspector Rafferty and Sergeant Llewellyn nothing about the case is what it seems.

As they begin their investigation looking for answers, they find possible suspects at every turn. There is the erstwhile partner, never fully appreciated, Edwin Astell. There is his lovely yet fragile wife, Sarah, who did not like Moon in the very least. Then there is Virginia Campbell one of the staff members, who also has offices on the premises. Mrs. Mercedes Moreno and Ellen Hadleigh round out the cast of characters with possible motive. When Rafferty finds that money is missing, the pool of suspects increases. As Rafferty and Llewellyn discover that Moon is not their victims real name they find themselves looking outside the internal cast to those that may have other issues with Jasper Moon. Just who is Jasper Moon?

In Death Line by Geraldine Evans, we find an unusual cast of characters, unique and just a bit new age, with interesting backgrounds and their own secrets. When Rafferty and Llewellyn find Moon’s real name, their investigation takes another turn, one that leads them to a murky and hidden past. This secret in his past is one that could very well create the anger necessary to perpetuate this murder. As they learn more about Jasper Moon, they try to read the real man behind the facade. Is he the egocentric man they hear about from some of their sources? On the other hand, is he the misunderstood, warm and generous man they are now beginning to develop a picture of? Finding out the truth about the man will lead them to the killer. However, with many of the players and pieces not being what they seem, can they unmask the real murderer?

Inspector Rafferty is a fun and slightly old-fashioned officer. He is not quite politically correct and has a tendency to put his foot in it. He is quite intelligent and seems to have a brooding manor. He is the opposite of his partner and together they seem to have an unbeatable team. Llewellyn is not just intelligent in the classic way he is also well schooled and entirely politically correct. He is young and in love, and he is the perfect foil for Rafferty. The interplay and conversation between the two is fun and they are constantly trying to outdo the other. Together they are able to find the hidden intricacies, those small clues that finally lead them to the brutal murder of Moon.

Due to the very nature of the jobs they do and the fields they work in, the other cast of characters are colorful and slightly eccentric. Evans has done a great job of building their characters and putting together a picture of their emboldened antics. In a funny way, they bring to mind a circus setting and yet that is only due to the color and overdone attitudes. There is also something just a bit dark and dangerous that stirs beneath as well.

I would recommend this book for the suspense aficionado. The dynamic duo of Rafferty and Llewellyn are quite capable and will surely be featured in further works. There is color and fun to the story as well as secrets and darkness. The interplay is good and Evens slowly guides you through the red herrings to unmask the real killer. This is a slow building murder mystery, with just a bit of humor, something for everyone that enjoys a bit of the unusual.

This book was recievied as a free download from the author. All opinions are my own based off my reading and understanding of the material. ( )
  wrighton-time | Jun 3, 2011 |
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