Reliable London police detective Bill Slider is back in the
eighteenth of the Bill Slider series, proving that
are never far away from crime in a city. ONE UNDER is the
term used for someone who falls under an Underground train.
We start by following the case of a jumper, with the
memorable name of George Peloponnos. Then we hear no more
about the suicide, until his name reappears as a friend of
a young woman found dead on the side of a road outside
London around the same time. Coincidence? Slider doesn't
believe in coincidence.
The Shepherd's Bush police station doesn't deal with the
glamorous end of town, but Slider and his orchestral
musician wife Joanna lend grace and strength to the tale.
Checking out the death of a young woman is given to the
female police officers. Kaylee, mid-teens, was sufficiently
at risk that social workers knew she existed. Her mother
does drugs with the latest boyfriend so Kaylee stayed with
an older sister or a girl pal. One of the girls has men
clients to keep her in ready money. Police Constable
Connolly, her Irish accent charming witnesses and
relatives, seems to be the only person who cares what
Kaylee was doing.
The overall tone, it must be said, is depressing. The
evident dejection, waste and loss of talent involved in
Britain's youth culture explains the need for immigrant
workers to fill the jobs with talented, educated young
adults. Sink estates, ready drugs, and bad schools are seen
to contribute. With
Constable Connolly we go from home to home, tracking down
girls, mothers, and rumours of parties because the
results show this was no hit and run but a case of a
girl falling to her death and the body being dumped on the
Ruefully Bill Slider looks at the files and modern-speak of
policing - managers, HR, PR, spreadsheets - and tries to
get back to basics. He and Joanna are still quite tender
about a loss, and when the big levers of policing budgetary
controllers and Members of Parliament enter the picture,
he's stymied. I enjoy how we get a realistic look at
policing and those who see this as the day job. Cynthia
Harrod-Eagles brings Slider up to date for her loyal
readers along with her usual chatty humour. Phone records
and cameras are among the tools of the modern coppers'
trade, but in ONE UNDER we see that sheer dedication,
nosiness, and stubbornness are still a detective's greatest
assets. Along with a reluctance to believe in coincidences.
Influence and power mean a copper should know when he needs
to leave well alone. But... when poor young girls are being
used and abused... what is Slider's choice? Cynthia Harrod-
Eagles wins our admiration as the adventure proceeds and as
always leaves us satisfied.
For a policeman, there are some questions that have to be asked
even if you donít want to know the answers . . .
A middle-aged man jumps under a tube train at Shepherdís Bush
station, and a teenage girl is killed in a hit-and-run, in a
country lane puzzlingly far from her home on the White City
Estate: two unrelated incidents which occupy DCI Bill Slider and
his team during a slack period. At least itís a change of speed
after the grind of domestics, burglaries and Community Liaison.
But links to a cold case Ė another dead teenager, pulled out of
the River Thames Ė create doubts as to whether they are indeed
unrelated. And slowly a trail of corruption and betrayal is
uncovered, leading Slider and his firm ever deeper into a morass