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Anatomy of Murder
on 26 March 2015
This is the second in a series (the first being Instruments of Darkness) featuring Harriet Westerman and Gabriel Crowther. The first book was brilliant, and it was a wee while since I had read it and got to the second one, but I needn’t have worried about not remembering the main characters. Within a few pages I felt like I was revisiting old friends. The author has a unique voice in writing, where the reader is drawn immediately into the story, and feels a complete empathy with the characters and ‘sees’ the narrative being played out.
In the Prologue of the story it is May 1781 and Harriet’s husband is involved in direct action as Captain of HMS Splendour off the coast of Newfoundland. The narrative then picks up in November 1781 and takes place over the course of a few days (from 15 to 23 November), with the Epilogue in December 1781. Harriet is in London tending to her now wounded husband, and is staying with family and friends. Gabriel Crowther has also found reason to be in London. The two of them are asked to investigate possible espionage, with vital war information being passed to the French. Is there a link to the body that has just been pulled from the Thames?
This is another great story; there is action aplenty, a wonderfully detailed and winding narrative of complex motives and devious machinations. Great characters populate the pages, and the lives of these individuals are reflected in the broader canvas of the nation’s security in time of war. Harriet Westerman and Gabriel Crowther are great fictional creations, and I look forward immensely to the next in the series, Island of Bones.