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A Commonplace Killing    by Sian Busby order for
Commonplace Killing
by Sian Busby
Order:  USA  Can
Atria, 2013 (2013)
Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Wanda Plourde

In 1946 London, just after the war ended, two schoolboys playing in an old bomb site discover a woman's body. At first the police believe it to be a sex crime. But the autopsy shows no signs of rape, puzzling the detectives.

Eventually the victim is identified as Lillian Frobisher, who only lived a couple of blocks away from the crime scene. Divisional Detective Inspector Jim Cooper learns that Lillian was a wife and a mother. He finds it very strange that the victim's husband had no idea that she was missing that fateful night of the murder. Also, the girl living in the Frobisher home shows no feeling for the dead woman. More and more questions without answers come to light. How did Lillian come to the bomb site and, if she had consensual sex, why did the murderer strangle her? Jim swears he will put the pieces of the puzzle together no matter what it takes.

A Commonplace Killing was Sian Busby's last work as she battled cancer. She weaves a tale around the lives of the characters in a fashion that makes them very lifelike. The writing is exceptionally smooth, with descriptions so vivid that you feel you are standing on the sidelines looking on. This isn't a mystery that keeps you on the edge of your seat but it nevertheless will keep you glued to its pages until the last one has been turned.

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