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Cover image for A dead liberty
A dead liberty
1st ed.
Publication Information:
Garden City, N.Y. : Published for the Crime Club by Doubleday & Co., 1987.
Physical Description:
177 pages ; 22 cm
Number in series:
The daughter of an engineer helping to build a town in Africa is accused of murder, and Detective Inspector C.D. Sloan must determine whether or not she is guilty as well as the possible connection of the murder to a nearby nuclear waste disposal plant.
Geographic Term:


Call Number
Aird, C.

On Order

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Because a blow to the head has almost totally incapacitated detective inspector Trevor Porrit, detective inspector C. D. Sloan is obliged to take over a case involving the poisoning of a civil engineer. It looks to be fairly open and shut, until Sloan finds himself intrigued by the defendantshe won't say a word. Working under the dual purposes of finishing what Porrit started and doing the job the defendant's attorney would have done (had she consented to one), Sloan involves himself in a case that is not only outside of his general jurisdiction, but also nearly a year old. Aird ( Harm's Way, Last Respects is in fine form in her 13th novel, mixing the occasional red herring with the sporadic unexpected twist. Although one does tend to get lost in her countryside and its innumerable towns, her characters are charming, intriguing and just unique enough to be distinguishable without being bizarre. (February 6) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Kirkus Review

Another puzzle for Calleshire district's Inspector C.D. Sloan and thickheaded sidekick Detective Constable Crosby (Last Respects, etc.). Lucy Dumast stands accused of the poison murder of Kenneth Carline, an employee in her father's engineering firm. She refuses defense counsel, is mute in court and is jailed for contempt. Her father is in deepest Africa overseeing construction of a new town, while the windup of his local tunnel project is conducted by Ronald Bolsover, deputy chairman of the company. Sloan gets the case with a brief to review all the evidence. Meanwhile, matters are complicated by the seemingly senseless murder of Hortense Fablon, French au pair girl of Lucy's friend and neighbor Cecelia Allsworthy. The intuitive Sloan puts together a lot of little inconsistencies to come up with a big motive and a surprise killer. The author's unrestrained use of pedantic, mostly dreary asides has never been more in evidence--or more damaging--to a trimly developed plot. The end result is, unfortunately, irritation rather than satisfaction. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Detective Inspector Sloan and his amiable but mouthy assistant, Detective Constable Crosby, roam the English countryside seeking to discover why Lucy Durmast, major stockholder and founder's daughter of William Durmast, Ltd., Civil Engineers, remains mute at her trial for the poisoning death of her ex-boyfriend, a junior partner in the firm. Sloan ponders protests over the firm's local tunnel project, the deceased's relationship with a missing African prince (for whose father the firm is designing a new capital city), and, finally, another murder. For those who prefer their mysteries to be leisurely paced, with as much social commentary as plot, Aird's latest C. D. Sloan adventure provides literate entertainment. SP. [OCLC] 86-16753