This is the first volume of the British Frederick Troy series.
“The fat boy stared, anxious to believe what he could see clearly for the first time. The shaggy hound had handed him the ragged stump of a human arm.”
Frederick Troy struggles to solve crime in London during the war, in a period when whole streets are ruins, and when old men ´give him the white feather´ of cowardice because he is not fighting for his country abroad. As the book shows, London is in desperate need of intelligent and courageous policemen who never surrender.
The story is well-written, and I enjoyed it whenever I recognized one of the allusions to British literature:
“Pym was running rapidly to seed and looked as though he meant to enjoy every moment and ounce of it. Somewhere in his attic was a portrait that was forever young.”
I was also reminded of the ´London particulars´ I remember from e.g. Lord Peter Wimsey stories:
“The smog took on the characteristic yellow hue of a killing cloud.”
So Lawton serves a satisfactory mystery with many points in its favour, and an interesting protagonist. If I had been fond of plots including war, spies and international intrigues, I would have loved it. As it is, I can appreciate his skill and good handwork, but this is not really a series for me.
I bought the book myself.