Instrument of Slaughter

Instrument of Slaughter

Book - 2012
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1916. Inspector Marmion and Sergeant Keedy are assigned to the case when the body of a young conscientious objector is found bludgeoned to death. Public sympathy is lukewarm for conscientious objectors with some people even claim that a 'conchie' deserves to die if he won't fight for his King and Country.
As the detectives identify one suspect, others pop up in the most unexpected places. Everyone speaks well of Ablatt but is he really the saint they describe? Marmion and Keedy have to dig deep in order to unearth the instrument of slaughter and the person who wielded it.
Publisher: London : Allison & Busby, 2012.
ISBN: 9780749009953
0749009950
Branch Call Number: MYSTERY MAR

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Roundcat
Dec 14, 2016

There are several themes in this second book in the Home Front series. In England conscientious objectors were a new and disdained group, so solving the murder of one of them was not a high priority for Detective Inspector Marmion's superior. The next interesting theme is homosexuality. This is a motive in two of the incidents in the book, but the blame is shifted to hate for "conchies" in order to make it more socially acceptable. That said, I was trying to figure out who, of the list of suspects, could possibly have killed the victim and maimed the parson, but none of them made complete sense. The solutions to the mysteries, however, came as a complete surprise for a totally different reason in both cases. Even as the revealing event for the murderer was occurring, the person's name was not given. We discover the person's identity as the arrest is made. Quite a good piece of history, as well as an exciting mystery.

bookfanatic1979 Nov 26, 2013

This review is not going to make a lot of sense for anyone who hasn’t read the book yet. The book is well written, but the underlying motive seemed to be a little “out there.” I’m not saying it couldn’t have happened that way, but I would have liked more corroboration throughout the novel. I’m not sure if Alice’s subplot with Hannah was meant to be a foreshadowing of the main event, but it felt more like two random occurrences that just happened to have something in common.

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