Sunday 8 February 2009

British Mystery

Finished February 7
River of Darkness by Rennie Airth
This mystery set around Scotland Yard detectives is set just after World War I. Inspector Madden is a man who quit the force after his wife and infant daughter died from influenza. Then the war began and he enlisted. After the war, he returned to Scotland Yard at his old rank. Working on the case with him is young Constable Billy Styles, willing to learn but very green. Madden reports into Chief Inspector Sinclair.
The case this are dealt is a difficult one. A couple and their two servants have been killed in an apparant botched robbery. The only survivor is a young girl who is found hiding under a bed, not saying a word. While initial thoughts are of a gang attack, Madden is sure that it is only one man. He relies on his war experiences, and his contacts to get to the heart of the matter. Madden is willing to break the rules when it makes sense to do so, but is a man who cares about the victims and the survivors. As it becomes clear this is not a standalone case, the impetus to solve the case quickly to prevent further deaths grows.
This is a real page-turner and I thoroughly enjoyed the personalities of the men involved.

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