A Song from Dead Lips, Paperback
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


FREE LOVE. DEADLY PRICE. 'A first-rate police thriller set amidst the seamy underside of the swinging sixties' C.

J. Sansom 'A gripping story, impeccably researched' Guardian The Runaway A nameless young woman is found naked and strangled in an alley on Abbey Road. The Reject DS Cathal Breen, an outcast in the Marylebone CID, struggles to make sense of the case. The Rookie Until new recruit WPC Helen Tozer - the first woman to join the team - makes a breakthrough. And as hippies slam doors in their face, and locals suspect the new African neighbours, Breen and Tozer tread down a perilous path, closing in on a cruel conspiracy that goes far beyond class, colour and creed.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9781782064190



Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops


Showing 1 - 1 of 1 reviews.

Review by

London in the Swinging Sixties is one of my favourite reading 'themes', so I couldn't resist this novel, even though I'm not usually drawn to detective series. For the most part, the characters and setting pass muster - neither Cathal (pronounced Cah-hal) Breen, the moody detective sergeant, or Beatles fan Helen Tozer, a probationary constable joining the boys in CID, really captured my imagination, but I was right there in late 60s London. William Shaw's descriptions, dialogue and cast of lively locals really set the scene (apart from tacking on the Beatles, which felt forced).The outcome of the investigation, however, was a bit of a let-down in my opinion. I'm torn between admiration for Shaw's double-bluff and unexpected denouement, and disappointment that he didn't keep the victim as the centre of he story. She becomes an insignificant cog in a tangential wheel. I'm not even sure if the murderer is challenging or conforming to a stereotype, but I would have preferred a more 'personal' motive for the young girl's death. Until the final few chapters, I was sure that I would want to download the next book in the series, then I decided that there isn't anything exciting or original enough to sustain my interest. And on a side-note, the free sample of audio narration was unintentionally hilarious, with Cameron Stewart's high-pitched female/young boy voice.

Also by William Shaw   |  View all

Also in the Breen and Tozer series   |  View all