Vertigo 42

June 27, 2015 - Vertigo 42 (Martha Grimes). The Richard Jury series resumes with this case that involves four deaths and a span of 22 years.

The story begins in a trendy bar called Vertigo 42 at the top of an office building in London. That's where Scotland Yard Superintendent Richard Jury has arranged to meet a man named Tom Williamson. Williamson is wealthy thanks to money left to him by his wife, Tess. She died 17 years earlier in a fall at the couple's country home in Devon. Tess suffered from vertigo, but Tom suspects the fall was no accident and wants Jury to poke around.

Jury does so with some help from his friend, Melrose Plant. Characters familiar from several past books also turn up including Sir Oswald Maples, who asked Jury to meet with Tom; Commander Brian Macalvie, who handled the initial investigation into Tess's death; and Harry Johnson, who continues to hang out at the Old Wine Shades. Johnson provides Jury with some insight into the recent murder of a woman that may or may not be connected to Tess's death all those years ago.

Also in the mix is the death of a young girl. She died 22 years earlier during a game of hide and seek at Tess and Tom's home in Devon. Several other children were also there. Jury tracks them down as adults in an effort to finally expose the truth of what happened.

Vertigo 42 proved a quick and interesting read. The chapters are relatively short and cover a span of about two weeks as Jury investigates. Each chapter is stamped with a day, time and location to help keep the reader's mind in the present even as the minds of the various characters delve into the past. The pacing is good as scenes shift from location to location and from present to past.

The book does only a little to advance Jury's personal life. A former lover seems gone for good, but a couple of other possibilities are still around. Jury occasionally slips into melancholia as he ponders what might have been and what may still be.