The odd couple of detection—the brilliant but cranky detectives of London’s Peculiar Crimes Unit—return in a tense, atmospheric new thriller that keeps you guessing until the final page. This time Bryant and May are up against a series of bizarre murders that defy human understanding—and a killer no human hand may be able to stop.
A mysterious stranger in outlandish Edwardian garb defaces a painting in the National Gallery. Then a guest at the exclusive Savoy Hotel is fatally bitten by what appears to be a marshland snake. An outbreak of increasingly bizarre crimes has hit London—and, fittingly, come to the attention of the Peculiar Crimes Unit.
Art vandalism, an exploding suspect, pornography, rat poison, Gilbert and Sullivan musicals, secret societies…and not a single suspect in sight. The killer they’re chasing has a dark history, a habit of staying hidden, and time itself on his side. Detectives John May and Arthur Bryant may have finally met their match, and this time they’re really working against the clock….
From the Paperback edition.
Set in 1973, Fowler's bloody and compelling third mystery to feature eccentric London detectives Arthur Bryant and John May details how the pair first joined Scotland Yard's Peculiar Crimes Unit. The murders Bryant and May investigate more than fit the unit's mission to handle cases outside the norm an elderly lawyer is found poisoned in a hotel lobby, apparently from a snake bite, while other victims are killed by toxic makeup and a starved tiger. The odd sleuthing couple find that these terrifying crimes are all connected with the strange Whitstable family, whose Victorian patriarch founded a bizarre group called the Alliance of Eternal Light. Fans of the previous books in the series, Full Dark House and The Water Room, will appreciate the portrait of a younger Bryant and May, but even they are likely to feel let down by the far-fetched solution. Still, that won't erase the pleasure of a twisty thriller, full of action and plot surprises.