Monday, August 03, 2009

River of Darkness by Rennie Airth

Protagonist: Scotland Yard Det. Insp. John Madden
Setting: English countryside
Rating: 5.0

This is the first of a trilogy, set in the years immediately after World War I, where both police and criminal have been affected by the war. Madden, whose wife and child died of influenza, carries the scars of wars, physically and emotionally. The criminal, a serial killer, also carries scars from long ago. Someone is killing entire families, but especially targeting the women, it seems. Madden and his team -- which includes Chief Inspector Angus Sinclair, young Detective Constable Billy Styles and, eventually, village bobby Will Stackpole -- methodically work to discover the identity of the killer and find him. This is as well done a police procedural as I've ever read, with the added layers of psychological mystery, wartime horrors and even romance for Madden. Before I'd ever finished it, I already had book two in hand.

No comments: