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The Water Room: (Bryant & May Book 2) Paperback – 1 Sep 2005


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The Water Room: (Bryant & May Book 2) + Full Dark House: (Bryant & May Book 1) + Seventy-Seven Clocks: (Bryant & May Book 3)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; New Ed edition (1 Sep 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553815539
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553815535
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 90,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Christopher Fowler was born in Greenwich, London. He is the multi award-winning author of thirty novels and ten short story collections, and the author of the Bryant & May mystery novels. His first bestseller was 'Roofworld'. Subsequent novels include 'Spanky', 'Disturbia', 'Psychoville' and 'Calabash'. His books have been optioned by Guillermo Del Toro ('Spanky') and Jude Law ('Psychoville'). He spent 25 years working in film.

He recently wrote 'Red Gloves', 25 new stories of unease to mark his first 25 years of writing. His memoir 'Paperboy' won the Green Carnation Award, and is being followed by a new volume, 'Film Freak', in April 2013. Other new books include the dark comedy-thriller 'Plastic' and 'Invisible Ink: The Mysterious Case Of The Disappearing Authors'.

He has written comedy and drama for BBC radio, including Radio One's first broadcast drama in 2005. He writes for the FT and the Independent on Sunday, Black Static magazine and many others. His graphic novel for DC Comics was the critically acclaimed 'Menz Insana'. His short story 'The Master Builder' became a feature film entitled 'Through The Eyes Of A Killer', starring Tippi Hedren and Marg Helgenberger. In the past year he has been nominated for 8 national book awards. He is the winner of the Edge Hill prize 2008 for 'Old Devil Moon', and the Last Laugh prize 2009 for 'The Victoria Vanishes'.

Christopher has achieved several pathetic schoolboy fantasies, releasing a terrible Christmas pop single, becoming a male model, writing a stage show, posing as the villain in a Batman graphic novel, running a night club, appearing in the Pan Books of Horror, and standing in for James Bond.

His short stories have appeared in Best British Mysteries, The Time Out Book Of London Short Stories, Dark Terrors, London Noir, Neon Lit, Cinema Macabre, the Mammoth Book of Horror and many others. After living in the USA and France he is now married and lives in King's Cross, London and Barcelona.

Product Description

Review

"'Atmospheric, hugely beguiling and as filled with tricks and sleights of hand as a magician's sleeve...this is English gothic at its eccentric best; a combination of Ealing comedy and grand opera: witty, charismatic, occasionally touching and with a genuine power to thrill'" (JOANNE HARRIS)

"'An evocatively reverential tribute to the genre...the clash of temperaments between Bryant and May makes them great detectives'" (TIME OUT)

"'The striking gothic setting of London under fire proves fruitful ground for a bizarre dark comedy of an investigation...bawdy, unpredictable and at times hilarious, with a cast of wonderful grotesques'" (Maxim Jakubowski GUARDIAN)

"'A writer of extraordinary imagination'" (Sunday Express)

"

'Very cleverly plotted...simultaneously scary and alluring'

" (Daily Telegraph Books of the Year)

Book Description

The matchless if cantankerous detective duo of Inspectors Bryant and May investigate murky and murderous goings on beneath London's streets.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By J. S. Bundy VINE VOICE on 21 Feb 2005
Format: Hardcover
Bryant and May's second outing is even better than their first in Full Dark House.
We have swapped the intricacies of theatre architecture for the underworld passages that carry London's lost rivers under the capital. The action is set against an exceedingly wet London autumn and as with other of Christopher Fowler's books the detailed descriptions of the city that he loves shines through, at times his imagery is almost on a par with Peter Ackroyd.
The narrative twists and turns like the rivers he is describing and never fails to surprise and delight.
As exceedingly enjoyable book that can only herald more outings of the Met's strangest duo!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By BikeMan on 18 April 2006
Format: Paperback
The latest of the Bryant and May novels brings a nice mix of modern and ancient London.

The ongoing partnership between the 2 main characters (Bryant a rule breaker, lateral thinker and a forgetful mind - May a steady hand concerned with following protocol) eases us gently into a new story with all the depth and intrigue of "Full Dark House".

A modern London street with all its neighbours and domestic quarrels is set against a slow discovery of the original waterways of old London town. The story develops steadily and purposefully with an ending that is hard to guess.

My only minor niggle - is that it is a bit too slow for me. Maybe my attention span approaches that of Arthur Bryant ?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mark Pack TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 13 Feb 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Water Room is another outing for the Peculiar Crimes Unit and its detectives Arthur Bryant and John May, with London's lost underground rivers playing a central part.

As with the other titles in the series, Fowler takes the traditional - even clichéd - murder mystery framework from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but gives it a contemporary and very London setting. That emphasis on the details of London is one of the book's real charms given how much detective fiction is dominated by American settings. In The Water Room the plot heavily features mostly accurate obscure details about London's underground rivers and how they have been diverted, controlled and lost over time. Or, as Fowler puts it at the start, "The most bizarre facts in this book are the truest".

Against the backdrop of this detailed London setting, Christopher Fowler develops very rich characters and manages what many detective authors struggle with. To give a plot drama often requires holding information back from the reader, but how do you plausibly have characters leave out key pieces of information? Arthur Conan Doyle managed to create such a great character in Sherlock Holmes that Holmes's frequent failure to tell Doctor Watson key pieces of information seemed (most of the time) a natural extension of his immodest and solitary nature, but other authors often really struggle. Fowler succeeds by cleverly cutting to and from scenes so that it isn't a matter of key information being left out, but rather the reader just not being present at the points at which the information would have been given away.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Helen S VINE VOICE on 16 Oct 2011
Format: Paperback
The Water Room is the second in a series of novels about two elderly detectives, Arthur Bryant and John May, who work for the Peculiar Crimes Unit, a branch of the London Metropolitan Police specialising in unusual cases. Bryant and May have been working together since the 1940s and have formed a strong and effective partnership, combining Bryant's eccentricity and lateral thinking with May's common sense and more logical approach.

When Mrs Singh is found drowned in the seemingly dry basement of her home in Balaklava Street with her mouth full of river water, her brother, who is an old friend of Arthur Bryant's, asks the Peculiar Crimes Unit for help. But no sooner have Bryant and May begun to investigate than another bizarre incident occurs in the same street. Meanwhile, the new owner of Mrs Singh's house is being plagued by the sound of rushing water in the basement and damp patches appearing and disappearing on the walls. What is going on?

I read the first book in this series, Full Dark House, a couple of months ago and loved it, but I thought this one was even better. This is a series that I would particularly recommend to people who love London. I'm not familiar enough with London to fully appreciate everything in these novels, but Christopher Fowler's love and knowledge of the city is obvious on every page. Full Dark House looked at the city's theatrical world; in this book the focus is on the underground rivers that run under the streets of London. During the course of Bryant and May's investigations we learn lots of little facts about these lost rivers and the mythology surrounding them. The historical information is woven into the plot throughout the book and I thought the balance between education and entertainment was just right.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Pauline P. Trafford on 14 May 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Not only have l read every one of Bryant & May books l have become a very addicted reader of Christopher Fowler books. If you like a good old fashion crime...just start reading his books.
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