Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-06-11
- Reviewer: Staff
British author Morris (The Gentle Axe and three other historicals featuring policeman Porfiry Petrovich of Crime and Punishment fame) launches a new series with this superior whodunit set in 1914 before the start of WWI. Inspector Quinn, “an extraordinarily gifted detective” who heads the Special Crimes Department, an unorthodox unit within Scotland Yard, has earned the nickname “Quick-fire Quinn” for his tendency to kill suspects rather than apprehend them. With the future of the department in doubt due to the Home Secretary’s opposition, the inspector devotes himself to catching the butcher who slit the throat of a young male prostitute before draining all the man’s blood, an inquiry hampered by the difficulty in actually identifying the rootless victim. Morris does a fine job of conveying the grimness of life on the streets, and his hero’s wrestling with his own inner demons makes a nice change from the typically unreflective historical detective. Agent: Christopher Sinclair-Stevenson. (Aug.)