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The Revenge Of Captain Paine: A Pyke Mystery (Pyke Mysteries) Paperback – 12 Jun 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: W&N (12 Jun. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753824000
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753824009
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.8 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 377,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A story of high intrigue and low politics, brutal murder and cunning conspiracies ... tangy and rambunctious stuff OBSERVER"

Well researched and enjoyably disturbing ... likely to leave the reader clamouring for more TLS"

Pyke is violent, vengeful and conflicted in the best tradition of detectives. His story takes in grisly murder and torture, and uses 1800s London in the same way that hard-boiled fiction uses Los Angeles as a mirror of a corrupt society TIME OUT"

Gripping and atmospheric DAILY EXPRESS"

Drips with all the atmospheric detail of a pre-Victorian murder mystery - "pea-soupers," dingy lanterns and laudanum THE TIMES"

Book Description

Terrific second novel set in the criminal underworld of pre-Victorian England from the author of THE LAST DAYS OF NEWGATE

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By J. Chippindale TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 14 Dec. 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book charts the path of Pyke, once a Bow Street Runner and sometime crook and takes place in the London of 1835. For those who have read James McGee's Ratcatcher and Resurrectionist there are similarities, both in the main character, Pyke and of course the period that the book takes place. I enjoyed this second book in the series just as much as the first.

This is the second book in the Pyke series and has moved on six years from the `Last days of Newgate.' As has the main character in the book, Pyke. Those who read the previous book will know that Pyke has weedled his way into a far more luxurious life than ever he had as a Bow Street runner. Marrying into the aristocracy no less. But when he is asked to investigate a murder in Cambridgeshire he cannot resist the chance to hone his old skills . . .

The author has the knack of making his novels very atmospheric, dark, dank streets with swirling mists from the river and thick vaporous fog, something we rarely get nowadays. I would say that the author has researched the period very well and it shows. I enjoy the author's writing skills and I hope there are many more to come.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a sort of 'Dickens on steroids' story, featuring our anti-hero Pyke. A sort of poacher turned gamekeeper turned back into poacher type figure. He is hard to love but easy to begrudgingly admire. Intelligent, quick witted, tough as old boots but also a bully, quick tempered and lets face it downright murderous!

I missed the first in this series but I didn't find that a problem in following this story and I am rather inclined to buy it having thoroughly enjoyed this rather dark and gruesome tale.

All manner of early 19th C life is here. Ruthless bankers, Railway magnets, bickering Whigs and Tory's but also some suitably sinister 'Bill Sykes' like baddies, as well as would-be revolutioneries, prostitutes, sweatshops, open sewers and bull baiting! All brought graphically back to life by Pepper in quite at times visceral fashion. Not for the feight hearted or the sqeamish.

Pyke is reluctantly called to action as he is coerced into a world of violence, murder, blackmail, corruption, thievery, ruthless big business, lowdown politics and threats to those who he loves.

As a couple of other reviews have mentioned the story at times threatens to lose itself in it's own complexity and the more far fetched 'Ripping Yarn' elements at times felt a out of step with the more gritty and realistic elements of the story.

But I found much to enjoy here. The book was fast paced and exciting from the beggining. Pyke, though utterly ruthless and at times bordering on pychotic, is a compelling central figure who I was (rather disturbingly) routing for from the off despite his far from subtle methods.

If you like your Victorian history, like murder mystery and don't mind blood and guts, you will like this I'm sure.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's been a couple of years since Pyke worked as a Bow Street runner, and much has changed: he is a married man now, father to a five-year old son, and a wealthy banker. But deep down he's still the same, and when coerced (blackmailed rather) by Sir Robert Peel to investigate into a gruesome murder in Huntingdon Pyke sets out to do so in his inimitable style: cooperate or face the consequences. Before long Pyke realizes the Huntingdon-murder is not the solitary act of a lonesome lunatic but has connections with the world of business he moves in himself now, and he and his family face perhaps worse threats than in his days as a Bow Street runner. As he says at a certain point himself: 'It had been easier (...) when people came at him with pistols and brickbats rather than handshakes and contracts.'

As in 'The last days of Newgate' Pyke goes at it full throttle like a sort of natural element set on an unalterable course, all the more so when his wife and son are threatened, resulting in some pretty violent (even gruesome) scenes. However, what to my mind makes Pyke such a life-like and likeable hero is the fact that we also get to see his intimate self: how deeply he loves his wife and dotes on his son, and regrets missteps from his earlier days. Pepper serves it all up in a delightful prose, very straight-to-the-point (as Pyke himself would) and yet deeply atmospheric at the same time, with superb descriptions of London in the 1830s.

Pyke has rapidly become one of my all-time favourite characters, and I eagerly await his further adventures.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An inspiring piece of detective writing based in the era of William IV. The filth and crime underworld realistically described together with political intrigue and the worst excesses of grasping capitalism. A tour de force.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Oh I love this author's works. Book 2 is just as good Book 1 and I can't wait to get a chance to read Book 3. Great scenery setting, the poverty, the dirtiness, the unhappiness, the weather and muddy roads - Andrew P just knows how to involve the reader and I really felt the atmosphere of his settings. A bit of dirty politics going on but not too imposing. Main character is a real tough guy with a mean streak but clearly the tough life has made him what he is. Some great twists to this plot. One thing that really strikes me about this era - could they really get away with murder so easily? If so then it proves the uncaring attitude towards the poor which this book captures.
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