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Mr Love and Justice (London Trilogy Book 3) Kindle Edition
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The title derives from the two central characters. Frankie Love is an unemployed merchant seaman who, unable to find work, becomes a pimp living off the immoral earnings of his prostitute girlfriend. Edward Justice is a young policeman recently transferred from the uniformed branch to the Metropolitan Police's vice squad. The two, who just happen to be neighbours in the same block of flats in Maida Vale, become involved when Edward is assigned to investigate the case of a valuable snuff box which Frankie's girlfriend has, allegedly, stolen from a client.
There is an obvious irony in their names. Mr Love's occupation involves a travesty of love, or at least of sex. Given that the vice squad for which he works is portrayed here as being thoroughly corrupt, Mr Justice's occupation involves an equal travesty of justice. Yet neither character is completely unsympathetic. Mr Love, who believes in honour and fair play, retains a certain belief in justice, whereas Mr Justice has an idealistic belief in romantic love, being prepared to put his police career in jeopardy for the sake of his girlfriend, of whom his superiors strongly disapprove on account of her father's previous criminal convictions.
MacInnes' view of the police is a jaundiced one.Read more ›
In MacInnes' previous London novels right and wrong were easily defined so we knew whom we should be rooting for and whom we knew would be blighted by the writer's indignation. Here things are not so black and white but grey. Love is confused with lust whilst justice is in fact the law and its thin line is crossed by police and criminal alike.
In short we don't really know who should prosper but find that none of the stories cast do. However us, the voyeurs looking on, actually do, we receive a very tight narrative which is as relevant as it was some forty odd years ago.