‘Crackles with energy and wit’ – The Times
London Society takes their problems to Sherlock Holmes. Everyone else goes to Arrowood.
1895: London’s scared. A killer haunts the city’s streets. The poor are hungry; crime bosses are taking control; the police force stretched to breaking point.
While the rich turn to Sherlock Holmes, the celebrated private detective rarely visits the densely populated streets of South London, where the crimes are sleazier and the people are poorer.
In a dark corner of Southwark, victims turn to a man who despises Holmes, his wealthy clientele and his showy forensic approach to crime: Arrowood – self-taught psychologist, occasional drunkard and private investigator.
When a man mysteriously disappears and Arrowood’s best lead is viciously stabbed before his eyes, he and his sidekick Barnett face their toughest quest yet: to capture the head of the most notorious gang in London…
In the bestselling tradition of Anthony Horowitz and Andrew Taylor, this gloriously dark crime debut will haunt readers long after the final page has been turned.
‘Arrowood is a flawed but engaging hero and the plot spins from peril to twist and back with real panache’ The Times
‘A fantastic creation’ The Spectator
‘Richly inventive’ Daily Telegraph
‘Compelling’ Seattle Times
‘Strongly reminiscent of Robert Galbraith’s Cormoran Strike novels…a memorable detective who can stand among the best’ Harrow Times
‘Arrowood feels… like he's always existed, we're only now being treated to an introduction. Mick Finlay's atmospheric, detailed, singular London is a terrifying place I hope to return to again and again.’ Ross Armstrong, bestselling author of The Watcher
‘If you ever thought the Sherlock Holmes stories might benefit from being steeped in gin, caked in grime and then left unwashed for weeks…Mick Finlay’s 1895-set detective debut is for you.’ Crime Scene
‘A book with enough warmth, charm, humour, and intrigue to signal the start of an excellent new series.’ Vaseem Khan, author of The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra
‘Stunningly dark and atmospheric crime debut. This is a story that packs a powerful punch. With murder, intrigue, dark humour, compelling characters and an extraordinary backdrop, it’s to be hoped that Arrowood is just the opener for a thrilling and original new series.’ Lancashire Evening Post
‘Readers of historical detective fiction will enjoy this well-set, darkly humorous addition to the canon.’ Historical Novel Society
About the author
Mick was born in Glasgow but left as a young boy, living in Canada and then England. Before becoming an academic, he ran a market stall on Portobello Road, and has worked as a tent-hand in a travelling circus, a butcher’s boy, a hotel porter, and in various jobs in the NHS and social services. He teaches in a Psychology Department, and has published research on political violence and persuasion, verbal and non-verbal communication, and disability. He now lives in Brighton with his family.
Finlay does a good job of creating a plausible alternative to Sherlock Holmes in his first novel and series debut. In London in 1895, photographer Caroline Cousture, a French woman, turns to Arrowood because she can't afford Holmes's fees. Her brother, Thierry, has vanished after being accused of stealing from the bakery where he worked. Though Arrowood suspects her of lying, he accepts the case, only to find that it reawakens some painful and dangerous memories. Arrowood was once a successful reporter before he lost his job to a relative of the new owner of his paper. His reputation for muckraking led to a career as a detective and an eventual partnership with former law clerk Norman Barnett. Their first joint inquiry, into a suspected bigamy, ended disastrously, with an innocent man losing his life. Arrowood took to the bottle, causing his wife to leave him. Finlay's characterizations are better developed than in some similar series, such as Will Thomas's Barker and Llewelyn mysteries (Hell Bay, etc.).
Really enjoyed it...!
Great idea to come up with 'the other private detective'. Who needs Sherlock when there's Arrowood!