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No one expects to read their own obituary. Liverpool lawyer Harry Devlin never knew five short lines could be so menacing - someone wants him dead and he has only seven days to find out who. The terse notice of his death is out of place amid the hustle and bustle of Harry's posh office off the Strand, but soon mysterious threats lurk in every familiar corner of Liverpool for the wary lawyer. The city quickly becomes a capital of crime as well as culture, when a mutilated female corpse washes up on the Waterloo Beach and another soon after. A loose serial killer does no good for Harry's already morbidly preoccupied state, but between the elegant coroner Ceri Hussain and the endearing cleaner Gina he finds enough distraction. However, not all distractions in lovely packages are good. Juliet May, ex-wife of gangster Casper May and Harry's former lover, sweeps back into the lawyer's life with unforeseen consequences.
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After three Lake District mysteries (The Cipher Garden), Edwards returns to his original series featuring Liverpool lawyer Harry Devlin with this eighth entry (after All the Lonely People). Someone is murdering young women, and Harry receives warning of his own impending demise, which gives him a few days to discover who wants him dead. The two mysteries come together with Harry squarely in the middle and characteristically unusual results (Edwards never writes the same book twice; both his plotting and settings are original). If the solution is a bit rabbit-out-of-the-hat, the book is still perfect for an evening's entertainment. For most mystery collections. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

At the start of the impressive eighth entry in Edwards's Harry Devlin series (All the Lonely People, etc.), the Liverpool attorney receives a fake newspaper notice announcing his death on Midsummer's Eve. Subsequent threatening messages lead him to take the less-than-a-week deadline seriously. Given Devlin's penchant for sticking his nose where it doesn't belong, many people bear him murderous grudges. Devlin focuses on two suspects--Tom Gunter, a violent thug and a former client, and Aled Borth, a loner angered that the lawyer's best efforts didn't result in a charge of murder being brought against the nursing home where Borth's mother died. The addition of a serial killer who severs his victim's tongues might have proven too much for the plot to bear in a lesser writer's hands, but Edwards skillfully weaves the strands together. While some readers will guess the truth before Devlin does, all will enjoy this twisty whodunit. (Apr.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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