Creed, Adam - 'Pain of Death'
PAIN OF DEATH, is the third book by this exciting new writer and features his protagonist Detective Inspector Staffe. Staffe is called to an disused underground tunnel in the heart of London, where a woman's body,barely alive, is discovered by Asquith, Secretary of The Underground Victorians and an amateur historian. The woman is very bloody beneath her waist and is urgently taken away to hospital but she passes away before recovering consciousness. It becomes apparent that she recently gave birth. Detailed investigation of the woman's status reveals that she was an entertainer and her husband is considered dangerous. Staffe gets his subordinates to check out the various lines of enquiry.
A similar case occurs in Liverpool and Staffe, whilst still in the early stages of investigating the present case, is ordered to go there. He does so and meets DI Alicia Flint the detective leading the investigation and after some promising leads, Staffe is able to return to London once he is sure the hunt for the perpetrators is underway.
It soon becomes clear that there are links to the dead women and various societies promoting early pregnancy terminations and the contrary viewpoint, right of life. There is a Private Members' Bill going through Parliament that is intended to alter the abortion law and this is in the news in the background. The story is very contemporary and flows very swiftly to the dramatic conclusion.
The character of "Staffe", which is short for "Wagstaffe", is an interesting policeman as he is interdependently wealthy and has a property portfolio, but as I have not read the previous stories, there is not any further explanation of this but there is enough background detail given to make one wonder about the various possibilities. Similarly, on the romantic front, various possibilities are described.
All in all I found this book very well plotted page turner and a lovely way to spend an hour or two. I will look out for further books by Adam Creed.
Terry Halligan, England