South London, 1896.
William Arrowood, Victorian London’s less salubrious private detective, is paid a visit by Captain Moon, the owner of a pleasure steamer moored on the Thames. He complains that someone has been damaging his boat, putting his business in jeopardy.
Arrowood and his trusty sidekick Barnett suspect professional jealousy, but when a string of skulls is retrieved from the river, it seems like even fouler play is afoot.
It’s up to Arrowood and his trusty sidekick Barnett to solve the case, before any more corpses end up in the watery depths . . .
I received a copy of this book from HQ in return for an honest review.
A run of the mill case for Arrowood and his assistant takes a sinister turn, leading to many bodies, and connections to a cold case. This is a dark, gritty historical crime thriller, set in Victorian London, which doesn’t shy away from the deprivation and danger. Graphic descriptions portray the setting, and ethos of the time, make it grisly reading but add to the historical authenticity.
Arrowood is enigmatic and not at all glamorous. but his knowledge of psychology sharpens his detective skills. His life is chaotic, but his crime-solving is exemplary. There are touches of humour in this story that lighten the noir quality, and the crime-fighting team, have a good dynamic.
Atmospheric, authentic and absorbing, with a cleverly crafted plot, and a cast of believably flawed historical characters.