My rating: 2 of 5 stars
A promising start to a police procedural set in post-WWI London peters down to a rather predictable end. It is quite unfortunate since I liked the mix of real-life and fictional characters. Also the team of Detective Chief Inspector Paul Stark and his sergeant, Robert Danvers – coming as they are from two different strata of a very class-conscious British society – is rather engaging. However, nowhere did the narrative really make me feel the tension of murders being committed at a delicate point of British history- the privation after the war, the Irish question, the looming threat of Bolsheivism – the author throws everything in the cauldron but nothing gives the book that extra edge. The romantic sub-plot seems forced too. That said, I’d like to read the second in the series before giving up on the series.
Opening Lines: London, October 1921
Winston Churchill, Secretary of State for the Colonies, glowered at the tall, thin police detective standing before him. ‘Are you suggesting that my actions have interfered with a criminal investigation?’ he demanded menacingly.