Henry Morton is back! And in "The Emperor's Assassin," the sequel to "The Thief Taker," our erstwhile detective establishes himself as an officer--and a favorite character--to be reckoned with.
It's 1815 and the Napoleonic wars are over, for all intents and purposes. The Little Admiral/General/Emperor is in custody aboard a royal naval vessel at rest in Plymouth Harbor, awaiting the solution of an international legal conundrum: what to do with him. Two viable sides, heavily vested in the outcome, are competing, at all costs, to prevail: the Bonapartists and the Royalists.
And "at all costs" means murder. A young (beautiful) woman is found dead in London and the Bow Street Runners (early detectives in England) take over. This is Morton's world, of course. It's determined that she has been tortured, most brutally, and the chase is afoot. One thing leads to another as Morton and his crew begin to try to sort out the red herrings from the Dover souls, as it were.
T.E. Banks (in reality Canadians Sean Russell and Ian Dennis) appears to capture the landscape and atmosphere of Regency England, as well as to create exciting characters set in a most exciting time. Morton ably directs the chase in a book that seems to increase its pace as the pages turn. Some of Banks' characters continue from the first book, most noteably Mrs. Arabella Hildebrant of Drury Lane (famous actress and Morton's love interest) and Jimmy Presley, his chief aide.
Will Napoleon be assassinated? Will Morton find the culprits and solve the mystery? History answers the first question and Morton skillfully answers the second in a clever and intriguing period piece. Readers can hope for a third adventure. Soon.
on 27 April 2013
I was looking forward to reading this second adventure of Henry Morton and I'm glad I did. The setting is wonderful. The historical detail interesting and well researched. There is literally everything, from political manoeuvring to spies, murders and fantastic wild coach chases! A good adventure read to make you feel young again. Thumbs up.