London: Little, Brown & Company, 1999, Hardback in dust wrapper.
From the cover: Award-winning ex-Guardian hack Phoebe Agnew had a name for championing the underdog and for attacking the police in print. When her trussed and strangled body is found in her chaotic flat, Detective Inspector Slider must demonstrate the impartiality of the law and find her killer.
On the day of her death the horribly undomesticated Agnew cooked an elaborate meal for someone. Was it her old friend (and reputed lover) Josh Prentiss? But Prentiss, a Government advisor, has powerful friends in the Home Office, and the pressure is on Slider to look elsewhere.
There are plenty of anomalies to chase: unidentified fingerprints, a missing ligature, alibis offered where none are required, the downstairs tenant lying about his movements, papers missing from Agnews file. Slider struggles to untangle the web of lies and hidden relationships, his task made harder by the strange behaviour of his friend and colleague Atherton, who seems to be on the verge of a breakdown.
And time is running out. Phoebe Agnew was concealing a secret, which someone is willing to kill and kill again to protect. Slider must find the key to Agnews chillingly lonely life before the next victim falls.
In the Bill Slider Mystery series.
Very Good+ in Very Good+ Dust Wrapper.
Black boards with Red titling to the Spine. 308 pages. 8¾” x 5½”.