Cover image for A running jump
A running jump
Hammond, Gerald, 1926-
Personal Author:
First world edition.
Publication Information:
Sutton, Surrey ; New York : Severn House, 1999.

Physical Description:
217 pages ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Polly Turnbull is fed up with her mother's succession of dubious lovers, and when the latest one shows more interest in the daughter than the mother, she decides enough is enough. But running away without money, prospects or a clear idea of what to do next, Polly soon finds herself in trouble. Fortuitously rescued by TV wrestler, Darryl Davidson, Polly helps him out in return by agreeing to work part-time as a cleaner at his gym, gaining confidence, friendship and a sense of purpose at the same time. Then events take a turn for the worse...

An elderly man is brutally murdered in a nearby fiat. Polly witnesses a shadowy figure in the gymnasium late at night. And in recovering stolen money from a local thug, she unwittingly takes the one piece of property several people have already killed for ... and will again.

Author Notes

Gerald Hammond was born in 1926. He was an architect for thirty years before retiring in 1982. He has written over thirty mystery novels and is the creator of John Cunningham, dog breeder in Scotland, and Keith Calder, gunsmith. He also writes under the pseudonyms Arthur Douglas and Dalby Holden.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Two veteran English crime writers offer variations on the same theme: a young woman, at loose ends, witnesses a crime. Fighting off villains and a few eligible bachelors, she solves the mystery, grows up, and gets the guy. In Hammond's Running Jump, 17-year-old Polly James leaves home after her mother's lover molests her. She lands in a small English city, where she becomes the tenant of a professional wrestler and uncovers crimes involving drugs and stolen artifacts. In Armstrong's Dead in the Water, Mimsie Crane, a twentysomething temp working as a dentist's receptionist, is swept up in blackmail and murder by a stalker.Both books have well-realized characters and settings and present difficult-to-solve mysteries. Running Jump is better organized and more stylishly written, with a series of witty scenes poking fun at the world of professional wrestling. The romance between Polly and Darryl, on the other hand, approaches improbability. Dead in the Water is slower, and the ending feels patched together. However, Mimsie is a bit more realistic heroine than Polly, and Armstrong's slower pace more accurately reflects the halting way a novice might unravel a mystery. Entertaining fare for fans of British mysteries. --John Rowen

Library Journal Review

Polly flees home after one of her mother's male friends makes a pass at her, finds work in a television wrestler's gym, then unwittingly gains possession of a priceless vase for which several have killed. Clever writing, a unique plot, and a proven author (Bloodlines, St. Martin's, 1997). (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.