Susan Kelly: Death on the Dance Floor
(7th in the Gregory Summers series)

A young girl dies from what appears to be a simple
drugs overdose after going out clubbing. Little
notice is taken but some months later a second
drug related death takes place and a post-mortem
discovers that the drug was not Ecstasy but a
new variant which can be fatal. Is a serial killer at
large in Newbury?

I have written quite a lot about Kelly’s Summers’s
series this year and this is the latest (2007). Kelly
gets better and better. This book lacks the puzzle
pyrotechnics of some others in the series (eg: In Cold
Blood) but it is a real page-turner; the social observation
is mostly good (although as usual the young people
– who play a largish part in this book are not wholly
convincing) and the plotting exemplary. The blind alleys
are brilliantly done and so the sub-plots work.
Kelly’s use of the members of Summer’s team excels –
the focus shifts and alters from book to book.
And the concentration on the relationships of men and
women, always given focus by Summers’ own peculiar
domestic arrangement, continues to flourish.
This book is free of some of the wilder improbabilities
which can mar the books, but there is enough of the
strange, the near Gothic, to satisfy and intrigue.
Kelly just continues to rise in my estimation.
As before – highly recommended. I am not sure there
are many better mainstream Britmyst writers around
today (well Hill, Walters, Rendell of course – I am not
putting her in that category! she is not great but she
is good).

(November 2007)