The Office of Fair Trading is trying to crack down on loan sharks. It hires Newcastle, England attorney Eric Ward to help find a victim who will testify – something few victims would even consider doing, given the possible physical consequences.
One victim might be amenable, but holds off, until he comes to Ward with a more serious problem. His 13-year-old daughter has been kidnapped from school. She just happens to be the 13-year-old granddaughter of an Irish business tycoon, in town to negotiate the sale of a land parcel from Eric’s wealthy wife Ann.
The police are of no help. They seem completely disinterested in pursuing the kidnapping case, which tells Eric that the Irishman is definitely involved and leaning on the police to do nothing. Then there’s a murder, and all of these disparate cases and pieces of cases just might possibly tie together.
The Geordie Murder by Roy Lewis is the sixth in the Eric Ward mystery series, originally published in the 1980s and now being republished. And it’s a good thing, too. These are first-rate mysteries, exploring the underside of not only the criminal class but the higher levels of society more than willing to work with the criminal class to get what they want.
And Eric Ward, the attorney who had to quit the police force because of glaucoma threatening his eyesight, manages to maintain his sense of fair play, ethics, and justice while casting a knowing eye at the institutions that are supposed to do that.
Lewis is the author of some 60 other mysteries, novels, and short story collections. His Inspector Crow series includes A Lover Too Many, Murder in the Mine, The Woods Murder, Error of Judgment, and Murder for Money, among others. The Eric Ward series, of which The Sedleigh Hall Murder is the first (and originally published as A Certain Blindness in 1981), includes 17 novels. The Arnold Landon series is comprised of 22 novels. Lewis lives in northern England.
The Geordie Murder maintains Lewis’s reputation for top-notch mysteries stories. We learn about human frailty, venality, and idealism, often combined in the same characters.