Winter is about to take a chilling twist...
Thief-taker Simon Westow is drawn into a deadly puzzle when the melting snow reveals a dark secret in this gripping historical mystery, perfect for fans of Anne Perry and Charles Finch.
Leeds, 1822. The city is in the grip of winter, but the chill deepens for thief-taker Simon Westow and his young assistant, Jane, when the body of Laurence Poole, a petty local thief, emerges from the melting snow by the river at Flay Cross Mill.
A coded notebook found in Laurence's room mentions Charlie Harker, the most notorious fence in Leeds who's now running for his life, and the mysterious words: To the dark. What was Laurence hiding that caused his death? Simon's hunt for the truth pits him against some dangerous, powerful enemies who'll happily kill him in a heartbeat - if they can.
The murder of career criminal Laurence Poole propels Nickson's superior third Simon Westow mystery (after 2020's The Hocus Girl), set in 1823 Leeds, England. A few weeks earlier, Sir Matthew Fullbrook hired Westow to retrieve his family's stolen silver, and the investigator found the missing items in Poole's possession. Fullbrook decided not to press charges, and Westow thought the matter closed until Poole's strangled corpse turned up. Westow, worried that Constable Williams, the city's top lawman, will learn of his history with the dead man, decides to investigate the crime, along with his assistant, Jane, who helped him apprehend Poole. When two of Leeds's more prominent citizens, a doctor and an alderman, take an interest in the case, they ask Williams to formally retain Westow to solve the killing. Their unusual level of interest in justice for Poole makes Westow wonder whether more's going on than meets the eye, a thought validated as his inquiries continue. The whodunit is enhanced by a grim portrait of life on the streets, embodied in a homeless child whom Jane befriends. Nickson again demonstrates mastery of the historical mystery.