A Dirty Death by Rebecca Tope
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I've read four of Tope's Cotswold Mysteries and this is my first of the Den Cooper series. Actually I'm a little surprised to see that it's called a Den Cooper series, because Cooper doesn't seem to play a large or effective role in this particularly mystery.
As other reviewers have said. The mystery takes place on a farm where the farmer is found dead in a slurry. Being American, at first I thought this was a sort of bog, but I'm pretty sure now it's where they pile all the cow poop. Yuck. I suppose there's worst ways to die, but not many.
We get to know the victim through the inner narration of many of the characters. I found this to be an interesting and skillful way of developing the characters as well as the story line.
None of the characters seem to understand the others. Their primary attitude toward each other is annoyance and impatience. Everyone has their inner angst that seems to obstruct a clear view of who the other people really are. I found this interesting, because I found myself despising a certain character when another character related to them, but then we get inside that character's mind and realize they've got their own problems and reasons for acting the way they do.
The Farmer, his name is Guy by the way, turns out to be someone no one except his daughter liked. His daughter liked him because he treated her well, like a little girl, even though she was in her twenties. It was hard to imagine her as a grown woman, because she seemed so adolescent.
No one liked Guy with good reason. He was emotionally and psychologically abusive to his wife. He was verbally abusive to Sam, his hired man. In fact, he was a plain all round nasty individual. He was married before and had two sons from this previous marriage, whom he never contacted and left nothing to in his will.
So. Who did it? Of course I'm not going to tell you, except to say that I found the plot line very interesting and it kept me going to the very end.
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