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Deadly Pattern

By Douglas Clark

The bodies were buried in the sand dunes of the little Lincolnshire resort of Finstoft.

Four respectable, middle-class married women, all of an age. Another one was missing but her body had not been found when Detective Chief Inspector George Masters and his team were switched by Scotland Yard from the Rooksby case to that desolate East Coast holiday town.

Masters arrived in the midst of a north-east gale and set up shop in the only decent hotel open in February, the Estuary. With the laconic Detective Inspector Green and two sergeants to help him, he set to work to uncover the perpetrator of a series of murders by strangulation that had baffled the local police.

Faced with five murders, all obviously committed by the same hand, Masters started looking for a pattern, and a pattern he found-which led pretty quickly to the uncovering of the fifth body. But that was only the beginning. Nevertheless, it was the pattern of symbolism that finally brought Masters to the solution.

This is the third case of Detective Chief Inspector Masters-the first was Nobody’s Perfect, which brought acclamation from the critics for a brilliant new writer in the classic detective story tradition. This one will certainly add to his growing reputation.

Douglas Clark was born in Lincolnshire, 1919. He wrote over 20 crime novels and under other names, including James Ditton and Peter Hosier.

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