Charlie Rutland, a womanising journalist, is found brutally murdered. He worked for a muck-raking gossip magazine and therefore had many enemies.
Detective Crow is assigned to Yorkshire where he must eliminate a long list of suspects.
And where does the German businessman Conrad Gunther fit in? Mysterious lights at Lockyer Tarn, a homeless man hiding out on the Yorkshire Dales, a stolen Volvo and a former Gestapo officer are all seemingly linked in some manner.
And then the British spy services get involved . . . Will Crow have his investigation shut down before he can catch the murderer?
‘Murder For Money’ is the fourth book in the bestselling series featuring Detective Chief Inspector John Crow. I have read, reviewed and really enjoyed reading the previous three books and so I was excitedly looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of ‘Murder For Money’. I was not to be disappointed. I absolutely loved reading ‘Murder For Money’ but more about that in a bit.
What can I say about Detective Chief Inspector John Crow? On first sight I can well imagine that he is ever so slightly intimidating. He is tall, thin, bald and he has such a piercing gaze that even the hardest of criminals feels unsettled. Crow seems to have a gut instinct that is almost always accurate and he has an uncanny knack of being able to spot when he is being told a fib. If something doesn’t feel right to him then he won’t give up investigating until he has satisfied his own curiosity and he has investigated every possible lead. Crow is tenacious, hard working, stubborn and he doesn’t seem to care if he upsets anybody. For him the victim and the subsequent investigation comes first. I wouldn’t say that Crow is instantly likeable and in fact it has taken until now (the fourth book) for me to warm to him. Crow isn’t exactly very sociable and I would say that he has few friends, but he is fiercely loyal to and defensive of those he considers to be friends.
In my opinion ‘Murder For Money’ is very well written. The author’s writing style is such that you can’t fail to be drawn into the story and once he has you in his grip, then he doesn’t let you go. In other words, this book has plenty to keep your attention all the way through. The story hits the ground running and for me, it maintains the pace throughout. The chapters are also relatively short which is more convenient if like me, you don’t like having to break off from reading when you are only part way through a chapter.
It didn’t take me long at all to get into this book and in fact I was addicted to the story by the end of the first page. The story starts in such a way that I will remember for a long time to come. I just had to keep reading to see who the murderer was. The more I read, the more addicted to the story I became and the more I had to read on. The book isn’t particularly that long and so it didn’t take me that long to fly through it. I was most disappointed to realise that I had finished the book. I was enjoying the story, the author’s writing style and the characters so much that I just wanted the book to continue for longer than it actually did.
I loved the way in which the author described the characters. In fact the murder victim was so well described and his behaviour was so appalling that instead of asking ‘who killed the victim and why?’, the police should have asked ‘Who didn’t have a reason to kill the victim?’. That way the list of people would be a lot shorter. Charlie Rutland had annoyed so many people that there were an abundance of people who had reasons to kill him.
Reading ‘Murder For Money’ was much like being on an at times scary and unpredictable rollercoaster ride with several twists and turns along the way. On occasion, I smugly thought that I had worked who the killer was and what their motivation was only to discover that I had completely got the wrong end of the stick and it was somebody else entirely.
To conclude, it’s true to say that I very much enjoyed reading ‘Murder For Money’ and for me, it is easily the best book of the series to far. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series. Here’s hoping that we don’t have too long to wait. I would definitely recommend this author and this series to other readers. One note of warning though, readers should remember that originally this series was published during the late Sixties and the early Seventies when attitudes and circumstances were a lot different. The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a very well deserved 5* out of 5*.