"A bomb rips through present-day London, tragically ending the crime-fighting partnership of Arthur Bryant and John May begun more than a half-century ago during another infamous bombing: the Blitz of World War II. Desperately searching for clues to the saboteur’s identity, May finds the notes his old friend kept of their very first case and a past that may have returned…with murderous vengeance. It was an investigation that began with the grisly murder of a pretty young dancer. In a city shaken by war, a faceless killer stalked London’s theater row, creating his own sinister drama. And it would take Bryant’s unorthodox techniques and May’s dogged police work to catch a fiend whose ability to escape detection seemed almost supernatural—a murderer who decades later may have returned to kill one of them…and won’t stop until he kills the other." - Amazon.com
What I thought:
At first, I had a difficult time getting into this book. The language is really dense and it was slow-going, but once I found the rhythm I loved the writing and didn't want to stop reading.
I especially enjoyed the character of Arthur Bryant. The crazy long scarves of strange colors, the marijuana plant growing in his office, pranking friends with poisonous plants, consulting with covens and spiritualists, and his far-fetched theories made his character a joy. I'd love to meet him in real life. I think we would probably get along :) and he has definitely made me want to read more of the Peculiar Crimes Unit Series.
Before reading this book, I had not realized how awful the London Blitz actually was. I mean bombing is always awful, but the fear that Londoners must have been living with is incredible. Reading the descriptions of life during the blackouts, the aerial raids and the destruction that the continuous bombings caused was an eye-opener. I know that this book is fiction, but I believe that fiction can often give us a good glimpse into another time or way of living. I cannot believe what people lived through at that time.
Some quotes I enjoyed:
"'She was a woman forced to survive in a world of harmful magic.'
'That's what witches are. Do you think she was a witch?'
'Well, someone dropped a house on her,' said Bryant, 'so she might have been.'"
From the hilarious Appendix:
"Incendiary devices, inadvisability of using as paperweights
Mistaken for thermos flasks
Jack the Ripper, ability to melt pavements
Landladies, unlikely swordsmanship abilities of
Lift, as device for removing feet
Lithuanian botanists, incidence of vampirism amongst "
Have you ever read this book or another from the Peculiar Crimes Unit Series? What did you think? I will definitely be looking for more.