Nor All Your Tears (Dr. Lance Elliot, Book 3)
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The new Dr Lance Elliott mystery, set in 1970s south London . . . -
July, 1977. Lance’s eccentric father, the retired Dr Benjamin Elliott, has been running a Horticultural Club at a local school, in an effort to impress his lady friend, Ada Clarke, who works there. One summer evening, Lance and his girlfriend Max turn up for the parents evening to show their support for Benjamin’s efforts, only to find themselves – much to the consternation and irritation of DI Masson – caught up, once again, in a local killing spree, as it seems that teachers from the school are being targeted . . .
wore rounded, NHS glasses. I knew the sort; the soubriquet ‘steward’ is actually code for ‘little Hitler’. ‘Over there,’ he said, indicating a field to our left where the cars seemed to stretch to a heat-shimmered horizon that could easily have been Land’s End. It wasn’t so much the words as the tone that started me off; I must own that this is perhaps a trait of my father’s coming out in me, but I tend to get slightly annoyed when people like this assume that authority legitimizes rudeness.
Constabulary to be endowed with the intellectual capacity of a genius, but I do at least hope that they aren’t all gibbering idiots and buffoons.’ It was the middle of a Friday and I had dropped in to see him during the course of my midday home visits. ‘Dad . . .’ ‘Why on earth would someone as harmless as George Cotterill do something like that?’ I hadn’t yet told him what I knew about George’s previous misdemeanours, but I wasn’t allowed a chance to do it. ‘And how strong must the killer have
decided to become a police surgeon; I hate being on call – it had always been the worst aspect of medicine for me – yet this entirely voluntarily (albeit paid) duty involved a lot of the bloody stuff. I suppose part of it was because my father had been one in his day and I rather love him; when I announced my decision to him, I was unaccountably moved almost to tears that he was so delighted. If I’m honest (which I try not to be and, as a doctor, tend not to be out of habit) part of it too was
people insisted. I had just been paying a courtesy call on Sylvie, one of my oldest patients, who was unfortunately celebrating her one hundred and second birthday (statistically, she had just reached the age at which she was more likely to wake up dead than alive) in the hospital because she had overdone the Tio Pepe and fallen over, thereby breaking her humerus). ‘Hello, Lance,’ he called across to me. He was a tall man, surprisingly self-confident for a pathologist, with pale eyes and
that stage which rarely afflicts those beyond childhood; the one in which the weeper starts to gulp and hiccup. She held to her nose a small lace handkerchief but, alas, it was totally inadequate for the task it had been given; it was, to put it bluntly, sodden. Dad was up and out of his chair at once, but not before I had detected a degree of awkwardness ’twixt the pair. He came over and took my elbow, asking in a quiet tone, ‘Nothing’s happened, has it? Mike’s –’ he glanced over at Ada who was