Published: 28/05/2017
ISBN: 9781788037419
eISBN: 9781788038362
Format: Paperback/eBook



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Since retiring from a law career which included sitting as a judge in High Court murder trials, Ian Simpson has been writing crime fiction. In 2008 one of his books was shortlisted for the Debut Dagge... read more

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Murder in the Fourth Round
by Ian Simpson

‘Ian Simpson is a real find’ – Alexander McCall Smith

Despite his fuddled state, Tony Spencer could feel that something was wrong. The poison was in his bloodstream, attacking his nervous system and his heart. Within minutes he was writhing on the ground. Before Ballesteros signed his winning scorecard, he was dead.

Forward to St Andrews in 2015 and when the man convicted of Tony Spencer’s murder is released on compassionate grounds and a political activist is killed, Detective Inspector Flick Fortune’s investigation focuses on a group of solicitors calling themselves ‘The Jolly Boys’ and Spencer’s murder thirty-one years earlier. Detective Sergeant Bagawath ‘Baggo’ Chandavarkar comes to her aid. Meanwhile, Flick’s old nemesis, ex-Inspector No, is hired to clear the man convicted in 1984 and he stirs things up in his own intimitable, blundering way. As long-buried crimes are revealed, events move quickly and unpredictably to a startling conclusion.

Murder in the Fourth Round has an intelligent plot combined with interesting characters and humour, all while confronting contemporary issues including dementia, the problems of a working wife and mother, a historic miscarriage of justice and the age-old problem of whether the end justifies the means. Ian Simpson has been inspired by the works of Agatha Christie, John Mortimer and PG Wodehouse and his writing style has been compared to Christopher Brookmyre. Murder in the Fourth Round is the fourth in this gripping series. It follows the success of Murder on Page One, Murder on the Second Tee and Murder in Court Three, all of which have received national and local praise.

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The Met Golfer

The Journal Online

Wow, it is with great delight that I have finished this book and nothing could stop me from leaving a review. This is the fourth novel in this detective series that owes a great deal to Ian Simpson's background in law and his love of St Andrews and golf.

Each book has slowly developed his characters and I think it is no co-incident that having become settled and comfortable with his characters the author has produced his best book to date.

His writing has always been sharp, character driven with strong and engaging plots. In a crowded market he has finally found a secure niche and is worthy of all his plaudits. His talent has always been there, a good listener to reproduce believable dialogue, an understanding of people and the times they err and humanity spills over into criminality. But the journey to publication for a writer even with qualities like Ian is a long and difficult trudge. I can sense it had many dark hours and fallow times but I am overjoyed that on the evidence of Murder in the Fourth Round he has earned his stripes and deserves to be recognised as the exceptional author he is today.

I'm sure his alter ego is Noel Osbourne and therefore he may accept this tag. "The clapped-out old dinosaur had recovered his mojo."

Long may this vein of talent be mined by your pen.

This isn't a story about golf, just the scene of the murder that sets the whole story into play. However, it is a fitting tribute to one of the best golfers of his generation or in times to come.
I loved the working of the police team as led by Flick a modern career minded woman. It roots the story well as has room for many divergences and ideas.

However the star of the novel in terms of a character so non pc and incompetent is retired inspector No - Noel Osbourne who leers at women, scratches his crotch inappropriately, thinks he's great while belching and breaking wind indiscriminately. He finds a new version of himself in this book and for fans like me it is hoped he will trick himself into another investigation bringing chaos and humour into the story.

I would urge you to read this brilliant book then find the earlier novels to be able to match the smile that has spread across my face.

by Richard Latham


 

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