May 1915. With thousands of Britons fighting in the trenches, a severely depleted police force remains behind to keep the Home Front safe. Scotland Yard is already overstretched when the sinking of the Lusitania sparks an unprecedented wave of anti-German riots and arson attacks.
Among the victims is the immigrant tailor Jacob Stein, found dead in his burnt-out shop. Initially Jacob’s killing appears to be the tragic excess of wartime hysteria – but when it transpires that Jacob had been stabbed, his safe ransacked, and his daughter Ruth raped, the possibility that these assaults were long-premeditated crimes becomes unavoidable.
Detective Inspector Harvey Marmion and Sergeant Joe Keedy must take on this case of cover-ups and contradictions and track down Jacob’s killer and Ruth’s assailants.
©2011 Edward Marston (P)2013 Soundings
I have loved and read almost all of Edward Marston's books and series, but I must say this new series is off to a very bad start.
It moves along briskly enough but I found it hard to like the new detectives, Inspector Marmion and Sgt. Keedy. I am not sure why but I simply didn't like them and couldn't get interested in them.
The book has many subplots which ultimately coalesce into one plot -- who killed Jacob Stein and burned his tailoring shop. Yet the characters in the subplots were weak and unsympathetic. One thing I did not like was the emphasis and time spent on the home and personal life Inspector Marmion. I know the author is setting up a romantic involvement with Sgt. Keedy and Marmion's daughter Alice, but I still found that part of the book boring and more of a distraction.
The main story dealing with the murder of the tailor was interesting but I felt the reader got distracted from it with so much time wasted on subplots and family life of minor characters.
The beginning, with the sinking of the Lusitania was exciting, but the story of Irene and Dot which looked interesting rather ended with one sentence about a woman turning in the address of Ernie to a police station. We never even learn which of the sisters turned him. Yet this subplot took up quite a bit of time.
It is a quick read but not up to the caliber of the Railway Detective series or Doomsday Book series. Alas the latter is not available on Audible.
The only thing that saves this book is the outstanding narration of Gordon Griffin. He is one of the best narrator out there and he adds to much to a book and often overcomes the limitations of the author.
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