it is really unusual that I do not start to read a series with the first book. But happened with The Home Front Detective Series.
There has been an extraordinary good offer for a digital copy of Deeds of Darkness (digital, 23rd October 2014) Kindle Edition ASIN: B00N01TI36] by Edward Marston which is the fourth book in the series. I paid 1,89 EUR for my copy. Today (2015-01-07) I would have to pay 12,67 EUR for a copy!!!!
Book Store Information
In general my decision to read a book is mostly based on the cover and the blurb/synopsis delivered on the back cover. You do not get more information when you are in a book store. The world of books is changing which means I also will take in account blurbs and descriptions on GOODREADS and other places.
Here we go:
Deeds of Darkness (digital 2014)
[ Kindle Edition ASIN: B00N01TI36]
"In June 1916, a young woman is found murdered in a cinema. Harvery Marmion and Joe Keedy set out to find the killer who so elusively fled in the dark. Before long, two more victims, of striking similarity but differing backgrounds, are found dead around the city.
Meanwhile, miles from home, Marmion's son Paul prepares for life on the front line as he marches towards the Battle of the Somme. Suffering a vicious blow in No Man's Land, Paul is left blinded for the rest of his life. Marmion must come to terms with the permanent darkness of his son's life, while continuing to search for the brutal killer who only strikes in the dark." [Source]
The 268 pages are divided into 20 consecutively numbered chapters.
War, the war we know as World War I, covers the whole country of England, it inhabitants from the new born child to the old people on their deathbed, from the banker to the priest, from the policeman to the murderer. From the doctor to the soldier.
It is the war which has an impact on every aspect of daily life.
It is the war which dominates the story in a way which creeps slowly but surely under your skin.
It makes the whole story and especially the action and thoughts of several characters understandable and comprehensible.
The whole story would not work without the impact of World War I.
To explain it to the very detail on a microscopical level would lengthen this review to a short story.
On the surface we have the Marmion family. Harvey and his daughter Alice work for the police. Son Paul is a soldier located near the rive Somme in France. Harvey's wife Ellen stays at home.
Inspector Harvey build team with Sergeant Joe Keedy who is the fiancé of Alice. They both have to cope with their boss Claude Chatfield who is a more stereotype character.
People want to escape the stranglehold of war and cinema with the amazing films starring the unforgettable Charlie Chaplin are perfect for this purpose.
As a consequence of war women get more liberty. It is nearly unbearable for Reverends that women go to cinema unchaperoned.
And it is in a cinema where the murder of a young women took place.
It is up to Inspector Marmion and Sergeant Keedy to hunt the murderer. It is a depressing task and it needs the strong characters of Marmion and Keedy to follow all the leads pressurised by Claude Chatfield, annoyed by partly aggressive or snooty or craving for attention witness and suppressive news from the front in France. Furthermore not to forget the impact of the Zeppelin bombings, angered neighbours and provocative women.
The twisted story keeps you guessing until near the end of the story. The depiction of a country and its inhabitants under the pressure of war is remarkable. The characters except the a bit stereotype Claude Chatfield are well described and show development within the story.
This case keeps you captivated until the end and makes it not easy to stop for some hours of sleep.
For me this is definitely one of the best detective stories set in the time of World War I which I read so far.It is a great mix of war impact and crime mystery which are completely interwoven.
Deeds of Darkness is top notch World War I crime mystery!
Where to find more About Edward Marston and his The Home Front Detective Series
Website : http://www.edwardmarston.com/
The Home Front Detective Series: http://www.edwardmarston.com/homefront.html