A crime of passion, a jealous admirer, a woman who would kill before she would be spurned—it might all fit if only the primary suspect would talk in CWA Diamond Dagger winner Catherine Aird’s A Dead Liberty.
Lucy Durmast waits patiently in front of the judge at her own murder trial, refusing to utter a single word. Kenneth Carline, an employee of her father’s, was found poisoned to death after eating a meal that Lucy herself had prepared.
Kenneth was set to marry another, and Lucy, it seems, was jealous. But what should have been an open-and-shut case of envy-driven murder becomes complicated when primary detective Trevor Porritt suffers permanent brain damage. C. D. Sloan inherits the file—and immediately begins poking holes in what looked like an airtight case. Why has the primary suspect gone mute? What was the victim doing with antinuclear pamphlets in his car? Was Detective Porritt’s run-in with the burglar an unhappy coincidence? And what part does the king of the African nation of Dlasa, a client of Lucy’s father, play in all this?
When someone connected to the case dies and the son of the king of Dlasa goes missing, panic begins to spread. Can Inspector Sloan and his hapless assistant, Constable Crosby, untangle this knotted web?