Wednesday, 21st February 2018
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Author Mick Finlay: Published by HQ: Price e14.99

Arrowood is a private detective in the east end of London in Victorian England. He shares a lot in common with another private detective of that era one Sherlock Holmes although never mention Holmes to Arrowood for fear that he will go into one of his terrible rages. To say that he hates the man would be putting it mildly. He thinks that Holmes gets all the glory and the rewards for the cases that he is involved in while Arrowood works just as hard for no glory and very little reward. It is not surprising considering that Holmes has a Watson to do all of his publicity and Arrowood has to rely on his agent Bagnett who has for the first time written down this particular story that the two of them are involved with. They are approached by a beautiful young French woman who wants Arrowood and Bagnett to search for her brother who has gone missing. She doesn't give them an awful lot of information other than the place where he used to work. The minute they hear the name of the pub where he used to be a pastry chef they almost give up as it belongs to one of the most violent and notorious villains in all of London. They have already had a run in with him and barely walked away with their lives and there is no way that they could go in to the pub and start nosing around and asking questions without any comeback. But in the end they take up the case through the sympathy they feel for the young woman. They make contact with one of the maid servants in the pub, a young Irish woman who was supposed to have been sweet on the brother. They arrange to meet her the following day outside a church but when they get there they find her murdered on the ground clutching a bullet in her hand.

They trace the bullet and find out that it is part of new stock that is just about to be given to the army. They now fear that maybe the bullet is a clue that someone else has gotten their hands on some of the rifles, namely the Fenians. Another big clue that maybe they shouldn't get involved in the case. Nevertheless they continue on with the case.

There are all sorts of set backs in the case that nearly cost the life of one of the young boys that they use in their cases, twice he is nearly killed but is saved at the last minute. In the end they find out that they haven't even been told the truth by the young French woman, not even her nationality and who she is really looking for and why. Needless to say that they do track down the brother who by this stage is just a by stander in all of the action that is taking place.

There are far bigger things that are afoot as Holmes might say, although don't mention his name to Arrowood. This is a fast action story set in the heart of poverty stricken London.

An easy to like novel.

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