This was my second read for the Great Transworld Crime Caper and the book was kindly sent to me by Transworld. This is the first book that I've read by Christopher Fowler…and it won't be the last.
The story is set in two different periods of time in London – modern day and WWII during the Blitz. In the WWII time period we see the rocky beginning of the partnership between Bryant and May as they try to solve the mystery of some rather gruesome murders that take place in a theatre. In the modern day setting we see May trying to find out why his partner has been blown to smithereens in an explosion at the office of the Peculiar Crimes Unit.
A book, like this one, that begins with the death of one of the main characters is guaranteed to interest. I read it at quite a slow pace for me because I simply didn't want to miss out on any of the detail – and this book is choc full of details with so many different threads to the story both in the past and in the present.
Second World Wartime Britain is described in fabulous detail as is the world of the theatre. At several points I expected a paranormal twist to the tale which kept me wondering and thinking until the finale. I think I held my breath several times as people wandered about the theatre unchaperoned, and I feared what ghastly fate awaited them – the murders in this book being rather gruesome.
The contrast between modern day Bryant and May and their younger selves was tantalising, making me want to know what adventures they had had in the intervening period and snippets of things that had happened to them over the years since their fledgling partnership first began were woven into the storyline seamlessly. They were at turns amusing, serious, intelligent and mistaken making their further adventures irresistible to follow and indeed I have already purchased the second of their adventures to enjoy in the near future.
Apart from a good story I like the artwork on the covers of these books…I'm afraid I've a soft spot for good book covers 🙂
This is my fourth review for the Historical Reading Challenge 2011 (I'm behind with my reviews and have two more to write up).