Colin Dexter

The Dead of Jericho

""Dexter was sublime at the labyrinthine plot...""


Morse switched on the gramophone to 'play', and sought to switch his mind away from all the terrestrial troubles. Sometimes, this way, he almost managed to forget. But not tonight . . .

Anne Scott's address was scribbled on a crumpled note in the pocket of Morse's smartest suit.

He turned the corner of Canal Street, Jericho, on the afternoon of Wednesday, 3rd October. He hadn't planned a second visit. But he was back later the same day – as the officer in charge of a suicide investigation.

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This is the very first Morse I read back circa 1990. Of course, I hugely enjoyed it and read other Morse cases that were on offer at that time. I must have enjoyed it as coming back to this book after thirty years (crikey!), I still remembered the solution, if not the whole points of the case. On second reading I still read this with huge enjoyment. Dexter was sublime at the labyrinthine plot and how he steered Morse through several different scenarios. Dexter was unkind to his creation, and yet again a woman is the basis of this case and how Morse has missed this particular boat as well as many others. The nucleus of the case is quite sad and Morse will have time to reflect and bitterly regret. Something he appears to be good at doing. Dexter litters his books with literary references. One suspect's alibi is being home alone reading Gibbons, which Morse is inclined to believe simply because of the highbrow literature that was being read at the significant time! If only all suspects could be exonerated due to their literary tastes! Dexter was to win a CWA Silver Dagger for this title as he did with his previous Morse, 'Service of All The Dead'. I feel 'The Dead of Jericho' is more controlled than other Morse cases and delivers a twist that shows that when Dexter was firing on all cylinders he could come up trumps… as he does here. Spellbinding.

Reviewed By:

Chris Simmons