Witches, Satanists, unexplained deaths. Peculiar enough for you?,
This review is from: Bryant & May and the Invisible Code: (Bryant & May Book 10) (Paperback)
I am so glad author Christopher Fowler was willing to take a chance to write mystery novels with a twist. And the twist definitely works for me. The two lead characters, Arthur Bryant and John May, by modern standards should be retired and growing vegetable marrows on an allotment somewhere. Thank goodness Fowler has kept these two older police detectives active and investigating serious crimes. It would be so easy for Bryant and May to fall into the category of caricatures of detectives, but that is never the case. Even though Bryant makes frequent references to his age, that age in no way keeps him from being essential to the investigations in all of these novels. Here, in the tenth book in the series, Bryant even plays the dominant role in working out the solution to the murders.
The Peculiar Crimes Unit doesn't have any big case on it's books at the moment so when Arthur Bryant hears about an unusual death in St. Bride's Church, for which his pathologist friend is having trouble finding a cause of death, he decides to do some investigating on his own. This is soon sidelined when Oskar Kasavian, the official from the Home Office department in charge of the PCU, asks for the help of the unit in investigating what is happening to his wife, Sabira. Kasavian is about to head up the UK's initiative in the EU which will change forever the way terrorism threats are dealt with within the UK and he needs help finding out why his wife is behaving more and more irrationally. Is Sabira really just a young, bored wife of an important government official or is there something tangible causing her paranoia and talk of witches?
This story features Arthur Bryant more than other members of the Unit, but everyone is important to the solving of the case. Talk of witches and Satanists might lead some to think that this is a paranormal or fantasy novel, but that would not be correct. The Peculiar Crimes Unit has to be ready to deal with crimes that lead them into some very odd places but this is most definitely a police procedural mystery novel. Personally, I would have liked more detail on how the crimes were carried out than I got in the revelation, but this series is such a great favorite of mine that I'm willing to let my imagination fill in the blanks on some of the more pedestrian details. This book is definitely a stand alone novel, you don't have to be familiar with any of the other books in the series to enjoy it and become a real fan of the series. If you want to read my favorite so far, that would be The Victoria Vanishes: (Bryant & May Book 6).