[Book Review] “WHEN THE OLD MAN DIED” by Roger Ormerod

TITLE: When The Old Man Died

AUTHOR: Roger Ormerod

PUBLISHER: Endeavour
EDITION: e-book 

ISBN: 9780094705401

    • The Synopsis

    An innocent man imprisoned for a murder he didn’t commit…

    When Julian Caine was sentenced to life imprisonment for the bloody murder of Eric Prost, Detective Richard Patton thought he had finally closed the case for good. 

    But when the murder charge is unexpectedly overturned on a technicality a decade later, Patton is forced to revisit the case – and potentially his part in bringing about the wrongful conviction of an innocent man. 

    Before his death, Chief Superintendent Arthur Pierce, who worked with Patton during the investigation, admitted in a deposition that mistakes were made during the investigation. 

    And what’s more, Julian Caine – now a free man – demands that Patton prove his innocence and exonerate him. 

    But with memories fading ten years after the crime, such a request may prove easier said than done.

    It is up to Patton to uncover the truth behind the murder – a truth more twisted than anyone could have imagined…

    When the Old Man Died is a complex murder mystery with a shocking final twist. 

    Praise for Roger Ormerod

    “Eclectic, underrated Ormerod can be relied upon to come up with the startling goods” –Sunday Times “I am glad to announce that the detective novel is still alive and well in Mr Ormerod’s skillful hands ” –The Spectator “Fast-moving, with well-orchestrated jiggery-pokery; not unlike an early Dick Francis in tone and method” –Times Literary Supplement 

    • Review

    We are introduced to retired police detective Richard Patton as the book opens and it is immediately clear that he is most definitely not the sort of character who can sit by and allow everyone else to investigate a possible miscarriage of justice 10 years prior.

    As the story unfolds, the supposed murderer approaches Patton for help in clearing his name. Patton is an honourable man and decides he will try to (re)solve the case despite being warned off by the present Detective Superintendent, who believes that a deathbed confession of tampering with evidence is only the tip of the iceberg. The waters are further muddied when the widow of this detective appears, demanding that Patton help prove the guilt of the previously incarcerated Caine.

    Through various twists, we are introduced to a web of characters, whose stories intertwine at various points. This leads to many possible suspects and motives, all the while the real killer is around….

    By halfway through the book i had decided on who the killer was, but there are enough twists to keep you guessing.

    The characters are very three-dimensional and I found myself rooting for Patton and his longsuffering wife.

    The story itself is fast-paced and kept me interested, I read it in two sittings (only broken as i had promised OH that i would watch a movie with him!) 

    • Ratings & recommendations

    I rate this book a total 4 out of 5 stars

    I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good old-fashioned who-dunnit, and would describe it as more of a mystery than a crime thriller.

    The Author

    Roger Ormerod (1920-2005) was a prolific writer of ingenious and densely plotted crime novels – some 35 in all – which were published in the UK and the USA. He lived in Wolverhampton and amongst other things worked as a civil servant.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one if you have read it!

    Until next time,

    Crafty xx

    Disclosure: A free ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


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