book cover of Unfit to Plead

Unfit to Plead

(A book in the Inspector 'Jacko' Jackson Mystery series)
A novel by

Publisher's Weekly
Adroit procedural detailing and deftly orchestrated glimpses into the heart of evil produce a perceptible sense of menace in Palmer's ( Testimony ) highly assured second mystery. East Midlands career copper ''Jacko'' Jackson is sure he's got his man in the brutal murder of a young girl; the suspect, a childlike psychiatric patient, was once institutionalized for a somewhat similar offense. The young man, deemed incompetent, is locked away rather than tried. Several years of English life pass quickly--miners strike in the mid-80s, Jacko has a son, the English soccer team hopes to qualify for the World Cup. Readers, however, are also privy to the intensifying satanic ramblings of an unnamed man. As several more girls vanish from the area, Jacko faces his fallibility. Palmer brings facets of English society into clear focus in this work, including angry coal miners and overworked beat cops with callous superiors eager for tidy arrests. The killer's ruminations resonate powerfully, never overplayed or rendered melodramatic, as he focuses on Jacko's partner, Sgt. Heather Hurst, and readers wait, tension building, for the inevitable, graphic confrontation.

Library Journal
This nicely complicated British procedural starts off with an unoriginal pretext but quickly segues into a satisfying plot twister. Based on overwhelming circumstantial evidence, Detective Inspector Jacko Jackson and cohorts arrest a simple-minded young man for the murder of a missing teenage girl. The courts find him mentally incompetent and lock him away until Jackson, five years later, connects his alleged crime to a recent murder. Palmer uses intricate description to delineate the psychotic mind of the unknown murderer but keeps his identity hidden until the last moment. A safe choice.

BookList - Emily Melton
Caution--this thriller is not for everyone. The graphic descriptions of a serial killer's barbaric murder methods and bizarre sexual fixation may be too explicit for sensitive readers. But fans who loved the palpitating suspense of "Silence of the Lambs" will no doubt give Palmer's book high marks. Detective Inspector Jacko Jackson is assigned to investigate the case of a teenager who disappeared during the British miners' strike of 1984. When Jacko's dogged persistence produces enough evidence to convict a mentally handicapped man who's been accused of previous sex offenses, the case seems closed. But over the next few years, a number of sex-mutilation murders occur that are disturbingly similar to the earlier case. Suddenly, Jacko discovers that his "ironclad" evidence may have put an innocent man behind bars. Palmer successfully combines taut psychological suspense with a gripping police procedural to produce a can't-put-it-down story.

Genre: Mystery

Used availability for Frank Palmer's Unfit to Plead

Hardback Editions

February 1994 : USA Hardback

Title: Unfit to Plead
Author(s): Frank Palmer
ISBN: 0-312-10569-X / 978-0-312-10569-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: St Martins Pr
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

June 1992 : UK Hardback

Title: Unfit to Plead (Fiction - General)
Author(s): Frank Palmer
ISBN: 0-09-471150-X / 978-0-09-471150-1 (UK edition)
Publisher: Constable
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA