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By Reason of Insanity

By Reason of Insanity [PDF]

This is the first in the Ben Tolliver mysteries, which are currently being republished.In order, the books are as follows:

1. By Reasons of Insanity (1990)
2. Painted Ladies (1992)
3. Flesh and Blood (1994)
4. Mental Case (1996)
5. Dead Game (1997)

I missed this series when it was originally published, so I was interested to be introduced to it from the beginning.

Set in New York, this is typical of the police procedurals of the time and I remember reading several similar in style. Lieutenant Tolliver is called to a building site, where the body of a young and beautiful girl has been found.She is the third such young girl, who has been found murdered in the same way and Tolliver now finds himself under pressure from his superior officer and the press; mostly in the shapely form of journalist Sarah Weston, who has named the killer, ‘the Greenwich Village Murderer.’ Although Tolliver finds modern methods of finding the murderer is looked down upon by hisboss, he turns to Dr Stein for advice on what is motivating the man responsible.Then, the killings take a whole new turn, when a photo of the last victim is left on the desk of Sarah Weston. It seems the murderer is luring young, hopeful models to his photographicstudio, but what is his motivation for the murders?Along the way, Tolliver meets a model who advises him on the case and who becomes a love interest in the storyline. Like some of the novels by authors such as Lawrence Sanders, we are aware of who the murderer is and see part of the storyline from his point of view.

At first, I found this novel a little hard to get into. However, soon I was gripped by the storyline and I realised how much I enjoyed (and missed) those kind of police procedurals.The main weakness, for me, was that most of Tolliver’s interaction came from people outside of the police force – in the form of model Margot Dennis and the journalist, Sarah Weston. It would have been nice for Tolliver to have had a partner, with which he could have discussed the case.The storyline may seem a little dated now, but when I had finished the book I was glad that the next book in the series is now back in print and I am looking forward to reading on.If you like authors such as Lawrence Sanders or Ed McBain, you may also enjoy this.

Lastly, I received a copy of this book from the publishers, via NetGalley, for review.

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