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“White Corridor ”


written by Harriet Klausner on 15/04/2007

White Corridor
Christopher Fowler
Bantam, Jun 2007, $24.00
ISBN: 0553804502

Although Raymond Lnd is technically the head of the British Peculiar Crime Unit, Arthur Bryant and John May, creators of the PCU, actually run it. After decades of always being open for business, Raymond partially closes the unit down for a few days while Bryant and May head to a spiritualist's convention, only to be trapped by a snowstorm in Dartmoor.

Also on the same snowbound road are Madeline Gilby and her son, who are running from Johann Bellocq traveling the same route; she met Johann in France and they made love, but afterward he confessed that he killed his mother. Madeline believes he has killed others too and stolen their identities. He also informed her that he murdered the man whose house they were in when they made love. Madeline meets the detectives who pledge to keep her and her son safe. At the same time, the two stranded sleuths try to assist the PCU by cell phone with a murder case. A pathologist in a locked autopsy room surrounded only by the dead was killed; only four PCU staffers had the key. If not resolved immediately, PCU could be in trouble as a VIP is coming on an inspection visit.

This is an entertaining, twisting and exciting police procedural that occurs during a terrible blizzard that has paralyzed much of England. The heroic detectives are past the age of retirement so they depend even more so on their mental acumen and experience rather than brawn as some of their younger peers might. The two cases are tied together by the stranded pair as they seek to keep a mother and child safe from a diabolical killer while also trying to solve from a distant remote site a wonderfully executed locked room case. As always, rules are meant for others when Bryant and May are on the job.

Harriet Klausner

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