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Crawling on elbows and knees, a man slowly inches forward, making his way through a cramped space and suffocating darkness. He doesn't know that someone is watching, and in a flash of light, his journey is over.
Now, fifty years later, small-town newspaper reporter Philip Dryden is on-site at a former World War II POW camp observing an archeological dig. The archeologists are looking for buried Anglo-Saxon treasure, but the excavators have found something even more interesting---the skeletal remains of a man trapped in an underground tunnel. The dead man's intent seems obvious, but there are two things no one can explain: The bullet hole in his forehead and the direction of the body. This prisoner was crawling in, not out.
It's a puzzle that intrigues Dryden far more than it does the archeologists or the police. Meanwhile, he continues his nightly visits to the hospital where his wife, Laura, is emerging from five years in a coma. Laura can sometimes communicate through a computer now, though the process is painfully slow and erratic. When it turns out that Laura's father was involved with the POWs during the war, Dryden begins to wonder if the key may lie in long-buried family secrets. And then a second, more recent, body is discovered....
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Jim Kelly, whose father was a detective for Scotland Yard, previously worked as a journalist and education correspondent for the Financial Times. He lives in Ely with the biographer Midge Gillies and their young daughter. His debut, The Water Clock, was shortlisted for the Crime Writers' Association John Creasey Memorial Dagger for the best first crime novel of 2002, and in 2004 he was very highly commended for the CWA Dagger in the Library, which is awarded to "the author of crime fiction whose work is giving the greatest enjoyment to readers."
*Starred Review* Kelly's hero, journalist Philip Dryden, is so beautifully drawn, so credibly complex, that he makes most other contemporary mystery heroes and heroines look like fumblings on an Etch-A-Sketch. Five years before this series opens (this is the third installment), Dryden was a rising Fleet Street star married to a successful actress. A car crash plunged his wife into and out of a coma in what is termed locked-in syndrome. Dryden moved to the Black Fens of England, to be near his wife's perpetual-care residence, and now works for the Crow, a paper with a tiny circulation. Dryden's restlessness, isolation, and professional pride drive him to seek out stories and pursue them long past police interest. Here, he checks in at an archaeological dig. As the buildings from an old POW camp for Italian soldiers captured during World War II are cleared, some Anglo-Saxon treasures are unearthed. And a skeleton is found in the tunnel, a bullet hole in the forehead. The man is identified as an Italian POW. Why was he was crawling into the tunnel rather than out? Dryden picks up the story where police interest drops off. What makes the Dryden novels especially intriguing is Kelly's take on his deeply depressed hero. Rather than portraying a man just going through the motions, Kelly shows Dryden to be much more human and noble: the scenes with his wife are both tragic and loving; his love for journalism is intact, even in reduced circumstances; he's searching but never self-pitying. Dryden is a man to watch. Connie Fletcher
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Book Description Minotaur Books. Hardcover. Condition: New. 031234922X Ships promptly from Texas. Seller Inventory # Z031234922XZN
Book Description Minotaur Books, 2005. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX031234922X
Book Description Minotaur Books, 2005. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M031234922X
Book Description Minotaur Books, St. Martin's, U.S.A., 2005. Soft cover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. RARE Advance Reading Copy-Uncorrected Proofs-Not For Sale. 1st Edition-Stated. 1st Printing-Full # Line. Trade paperback format. BEAUTIFUL copy of Book & Cover. COLLECTOR'S COPY. Seller Inventory # 002304