Review: Death Line by Geraldine Evans

Title: Death Line {Rafferty and Llewellyn Mystery #3}

Author: Geraldine Evans

Published: March 29th 2011 {First published Macmillan 1995}

Synopsis: Jasper Moon, internationally renowned ‘seer to the stars’, had signally failed to foresee his own future. He is found dead on his consulting-room floor, his skull crushed with a crystal ball and, all, around him, his office in chaos. Meanwhile, Ma Rafferty is sure she can predict Detective Inspector Joe Rafferty’s future – by the simple expedient of organizing it herself. She is still engaged on her crusade to get Rafferty married off to a good Catholic girl with child-bearing hips. But Rafferty has a cunning plan to sabotage her machinations. Only trouble is, he needs Sergeant Llewellyn’s cooperation and he isn’t sure he’s going to get it. During their murder investigations, Inspector Rafferty and Sergeant Llewellyn discover a highly incriminating video concealed in Moon’s flat, a video which, if made public, could wreck more than one life. Was the famous astrologer really a vicious sexual predator? Gradually, connections begin to emerge between Moon and others in the small Essex town of Elmhurst. But how is Rafferty to solve the case when all of his suspects have seemingly unbreakable alibis?

Status: Read from August 19 to 20, 2011 — I own a copy {courtesy the author}

My Thoughts:

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.

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About the Author

Geraldine Evans has been writing since her twenties, though only began to actually finish some when she hit the milestone age of thirty. As well as her popular humorous Rafferty & Llewellyn crime series, she has a second crime series, Casey & Catt and has also had published an historical, a romance and articles on a variety of subjects, including, Historical Biography, Writing, Astrology, Palmistry and other New Age subjects. She has also written a dramatization of Dead Before Morning, the first book in her Rafferty series. She is a Londoner, but now lives in Norfolk England where she moved, with her husband George, in 2000. Death Line(ebook) is the third in her fifteen-strong Rafferty & Llewellyn crime series. She is currently working on the next in the series.

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