London is under siege. A banking scandal has filled the city with violent protests, and as the anger in the streets detonates, a young homeless man burns to death after being caught in the crossfire between rioters and the police. But all is not as it seems; an opportunistic killer is using the chaos to exact revenge, but his intended victims are so mysteriously chosen that the Peculiar Crimes Unit is called in to find a way of stopping him.
Using their network of eccentric contacts, elderly detectives Arthur Bryant and John May hunt down a murderer who adopts incendiary methods of execution. But they soon find their investigation taking an apocalyptic turn as the case comes to involve the history of mob rule, corruption, rebellion, punishment, and the legend of Guy Fawkes. At the same time, several members of the PCU team reach dramatic turning points in their lives - but the most personal tragedy is yet to come, for as the race to bring down a cunning killer reaches its climax, Arthur Bryant faces his own devastating day of reckoning. "I always said we'd go out with a hell of a bang," warns Bryant.
©2015 Christopher Fowler (P)2015 W. F. Howes
I don't like to go into plots, because I believe in books as unspoiled territory waited for the reader to explore and deflower it, as may be.
However I will make a comment on the performance. The character of Bryant is spot on; he is the voice and soul of Bryant, a cantankerous and moldy genius as perfectly conceived by his author as any of the great fictional detectives ever born. The voice of May, however, is almost, almost, insulting to the character. There is no subtlety, no finesse, no reality to this fictional character. He is portrayed as a bitter, whiney old man, in an effort which is little to no resemblance to the May I've read into creation in my head, and I'm guessing is the same for my fellow devotees to this couple of true characters, who deserve better.
Other characters are victims of the same water washing, but for the most part their voices aren't as angrifying as the deconstruction of my May, a gentleman and fierce friend of the oddball thought process that is Bryant. He's no Watson, as Watson
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