Heads I Win
Michael Harrison as by Quentin Downes


e-Book, 176 pp. (Tina Rhea #33)
ISBN 978-1-55497-489-4    $10.00

A Head—a Scalpless Head—was discovered in the Thames. In its teeth was a morsel of beef which the doctors declared had been eaten after the scalping.

Into this highly promising situation Quentin Downes hurls that now immortal character, the Kosher Rozzer, otherwise Detective-Inspector Abraham Kozminski, with excellent results. In Heads I Win, this bizarre but ruthless character can be observed tracking down, with his faithful Sergeant Sargant (of Winchester and Balliol), a murderer as original in motive and method as the most hardened reader of detective fiction could desire.

A great deal of the highly sinister action of this story takes place in and around the frowstier Chelsea pubs, of which the author appears to be a connoisseur, though he is equally at home on the grey mud-flats of London river, beneath the towering smoke-stacks of Lots Road and in the flashy flats where the profits of Black Market deals are lavished in unpleasant opulence.

Quentin Downes’ latest tale is as packed as its predecessor with a wealth of characters, all drawn with obvious fidelity but with that acid touch of caricature which made No Smoke No Flame as much a biting social satire as a first-rate detective story.