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The Way Through the Woods
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One of Britain's most inventive and honored crime writers, Dexter ( The Jewel That Was Ours ) offers another tale in a justly acclaimed series. Again it's a story packed with nuance, wayward angles and bewildering layers of coincidence, all explicated in masterful style. When Oxford-based Inspector Morse sets out to find Karin Eriksson, a young Swedish woman who disappeared while vacationing in England, he opens a Pandora's box of clues and culpability. The missing woman's need for money, four men's need for pornography, and photographs, blackmail and multiple disappearances all play their part in this deliberately baffling mystery, in which virtually every chapter ends on an enigmatic note. Dexter even manages to cunningly subvert the narrative's basic framework toward the end, when Karin Eriksson's identity comes into question. The erudite, irascible Morse remains a delightful character, with his shambling existence, his love for music, his obvious appeal to lonely women despite his slovenly appearance. His pedestrian, loyal subordinate, Sgt. Lewis, buys most of the beers Morse consumes en route to the ultimate solution. Publication of this stunning work will coincide with the broadcast of another Morse adventure on the PBS Mystery! series. ( Apr. )

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