The Garbage Dump Murders

Reviewed by Andy Smart

I'm sure this will incite numerous angry emails - and please do email if I have this wrong, but I think Amanda Valentine is the only fictional lesbian detective in New Zealand? Actually it was a pleasent change to have a slightly different location, with a different atmosphere, to read about.

The Garbage Dump Murders is a good old-fashioned police procedural - one of my favourite genres. Body parts are turning up all over the city of Wellington, traced to a total of three different individuals, both male and female. Beyond being people who are hard to trace, there are no missing persons who fit the bill, they have nothing in common and therefore Valentine has little to go on. Her superiors want it solved and her colleague Bob Welch, who firmly believes that 'homicide is a man's province' reckons he could do better. To cap it all, Valentine finds herself in charge of an investigation into document security in the mayor's office, when she least has time to spare.

Naturally, a high profile case like this attracts media attention. It comes in the shape of bubbly airhead presenter Debby Daley who is interested in both the progress of the case and the personal details of Valentine's (who has been described as 'New Zealand's most glamourous detective') life. There is of course far more to Debby's interest than media coverage, not that she is not keen for a big story, and Valentine is constantly trying to convince herself that Daley's motives are not all ulterior.

The conclusion is satisfying, and in keeping with policy here at TPMDA there are no clues here! By the book and enjoy it

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