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Foul Trade: Chasing Dragons, Courting Death Paperback – 25 Aug. 2014
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- Paperback : 288 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1783336587
- ISBN-13 : 978-1783336586
- Dimensions : 12.7 x 1.91 x 20.3 cm
- Publisher : Oak Tree Press; Standard ed. edition (25 Aug. 2014)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: 2,355,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer reviews:
Top reviews from United Kingdom
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pleased when I finished it. I didn't find any of the characters really likeable. May had a high opinion of
herself and was proud of driving an ambulance in the war and dealing with wounded and dead soldiers.
Yet when she discovers a body of somebody she barely knew, she was hysterical!
May was the coroner's officer, but she spent most of her time away from the office acting stupidly by
following drug dealers, entering gambling and opium dens and putting not only herself but others in danger.
This was completely outwith her job description, especially as she wasn't portrayed as a "female James Bond"
in that she couldn't defend herself. She knew she was gaining enemies in the Chinese Tongs who killed people
who thwarted their plans, but she carried on anyway!
She used the reporter, Jack - though to be fair, he also used her - and they had a love/hate relationship
whereby each time they met they insulted each other. This became tedious after a while. Apart from a
few isolated incidents I found it very slow in places, especially the scenes where her sister Alice was starry-eyed
about appearing on the stage.
Perhaps if you know Poplar and the streets, dock areas, etc. that May travelled through, you might enjoy this
book more than I did, but this was not a book or author for me. I give it 2.5 stars which I have rounded up to 3.
Having read the novella that introduced us to May Keaps, I pre ordered Foul Trade straight away.
May is such an interesting character to read about and faces every situation with a sense of level headiness, even if she isn't feeling so calm inside.
BK Duncan brought to life the era, hardships and unsavoury characters realistically well. By brining this to be a darker novel, than I expected, even with the blurb.
May works methodically and fairly and I for one was watching out for her, hoping she made it to the end of the book as unscathed as possible.
This book is not one to be devoured, there is so much wonderful literature on every page, you need to read, digest, breathe as it is a stunningly impressive novel, that is thought provoking, and plenty of mystery that gripped me and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the world through May's eyes.
The author transports you back in time and you really get a feel of what life was like in that era. Though the world May finds herself in is a very dark and dangerous one. I know drugs have always been around but didn’t realise just how rife it was in 1920’s.
May is very much a modern woman of her day. She is an independent and determined young lady who knows what she wants in life. She reminded me of a younger version of Agatha Christie’s, Jane Marple. Always getting involved in things she would be best off keeping out of.
Foul Trade is a well written novel that is perfect for fans of historical crime fiction. A very solid start to a brand new crime series and look forward to reading more.
As May pursues the necessary evidence to present to the coroner, in a murder case, we are introduced to an entertaining variety of well-drawn characters; in gambling houses, opium dens, pubs, the theatre and the profession of the streets. We catch the scent of everyday life as well as the docks, exotic spices and the smell of danger and intrigue that May faces as she digs deeper into the mystery. I have to admit that when I first set out to read this I could only spend short sporadic periods with the book and I got lost and confused because it's very complex, however, I started it again when I had more leisure time and really enjoyed it.
I was a little disappointed that in the end, May doesn't so much solve the puzzle as stumble into it through sheer stubborn persistence, but is quite effectively resolved, if not as neatly as I would have liked.
The writing in general is crisp and well paced, though overall I thought that it seemed a bit longer than it needed to be and would have benefited from a bit of trimming. Still very readable though, and it has that feel of another time and place which makes a good historical novel stand out.”