Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Dead of Jericho - Colin Dexter

Rating: 3.5/5
Read between November 19th,2016 to November 21st 2016

Edition Details:
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 224
Publisher: Pan Books
ISBN: 0-330-26693-4
ISBN 13: 9780330266932
Awards :The Crime Writers' Association Silver Dagger for Fiction (1981)

First Sentence:
Not remarkably beautiful, he thought.

When Detective Chief Inspector Morse, of the Thames Valley police, had met Anne Scott in a party they had hit it off immediately. They had flirted throughout the party until Morse got called for some case of his. She had given him her address and asked to meet again. He had intended to take it further but then stopped himself when he found out that she was already married.

So, when six months later when he was found himself in the vicinity of the place where Anne lived he couldn't help but make a visit. He didn't get to see her.

But later that evening he found out that Anne Scott had killed herself. Why did she do that? He wanted to find that out and so started his investigations unofficially.

After Anne Scott when it was found that  George Jackson was murdered, Morse knew something was fishy and that both the incidents were connected together. George was Anne's neighbour and used to supplement his income by doing odd jobs for people around him. He had worked for Anne too.

Who must have killed him? Why was he killed?

Was it related to Anne's suicide?

Morse brain was ringing with this questions and he wanted to find answers to them.

Did he get his answers? What did he discovered during the investigations?


The fifth Inspector Morse mystery features Morse initially working on a case unofficially because it's personal for him. I have now read four Inspector Morse mysteries and i have liked all of them. I enjoyed reading this one too. This was not some fast paced read and sometimes i thought the proceedings were going a bit slow but it's the charm of the book. There is no high octane action going on but still i kept reading it as i wanted to find out why were those people dead. And it was fun seeing Morse at work. The story is convoluted and it was impossible for me to find out who committed the crime.  But i didn't felt bad because Morse too was having such problems. ha ha. The twist and turns in the story made it a satisfying read and i think it deserved the Silver Dagger award that it got.

I have liked Morse as a character. He's a genius and everyone knows it but inin
every case it's shown that he really works hard to arrive at an conclusion. He's not always right and more often than not has to change his initial theory. This novel was no exception. Morse makes a lot of mistakes here too but then often brings the investigation to the right track. His one theory was so great that i was disappointed when it proved to be a wrong one. It would have been dramatic if that would have been true. I think this thing is what attracts the reader to the Morse. He's intelligent no doubt but is still human. He makes mistake and there are times when he's afraid. He knows he's old and would not be much in a fight. He's a drunk too and believes his mind works better when he has beer in him. Not a classic hero but then that's part of his charm. And these short comings in a hero make you root for him that much as he works with his shortcomings and doesn't let it impede his work. Although, i feel bad for Lewis sometimes who has bear his eccentricities.

If you like Inspector Morse mysteries then you'd definitely like this one. If you haven't read the initial books then this could be read as an stand alone too. I enjoyed reading it and hope that you get the same enjoyment from it.

If you have read it do tell me how did you find it? If you haven't then you can get the book from the following links:

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