- available from Audible
- unabridged version
In Full Dark House, Christopher Fowler tells the story of both the first and last case of an unlikely pair of crime fighters - and how along the way they changed the face of detection.
A present-day bombing rips through London and claims the life of 80-year-old detective Arthur Bryant. For his partner John May, it means the end of a partnership that lasted over half a century and an eerie echo back to the Blitz of World War II when they first met. Desperately searching for clues to the killer’s identity, May finds his old friend’s notes of their very first case and becomes convinced that the past has returned ... with a killing vengeance.
Filled with startling twists, unforgettable characters, and a mystery that will keep you guessing, Full Dark House is a witty, heartbreaking, and all-too-human thriller about the hunt for an inhuman killer.
World War II served Arthur Bryant and John May very well. It meant that when they were barely out of their teens these two became the principal investigators of the Peculiar Crimes Unit. It is the crimes that are peculiar but one could be forgiven for thinking that Arthur Bryant in particular is a little peculiar. As Bryant ruffles feathers with the gaucheness of youth some of the victims of the crimes wonder if the police force might not have more senior investigators available.
The narrative flits effortlessly between the events during the Blitz and the current day when John May tries to work out whose nerve Bryant touched that resulted in his apparent death from a suitcase bomb when he was researching their first case for his memoirs.
I have enjoyed all that I have read from this series, the narrator in the audio books, Tim Goodman, has become for me the voice of Arthur Bryant. Christopher Fowler uses quite quirky historical settings and this case the main action is set in a West End theatre. The production is Offenbach's Orpheus, designed to be a morale booster in bombed London. A succession of deaths threaten the closure of the theatre, while the Peculiar Crimes Unit faces imminent disbanding as the death toll mounts.
An excellent read. My rating: 4.7
I have also reviewed:
THE VICTORIA VANISHES
4.6, TEN-SECOND STAIRCASE
4.5, BRYANT & MAY AND THE INVISIBLE CODE
Bryant and May (series list from Fantastic Fiction)
1. Full Dark House (2003)
2. The Water Room (2004)
3. Seventy-Seven Clocks (2005)
4. Ten Second Staircase (2006)
5. White Corridor (2007)
6. The Victoria Vanishes (2008)
7. Bryant and May on the Loose (2009)
8. Off the Rails (2010)
9. The Memory of Blood (2011)
10. The Invisible Code (2012)
11. Bryant & May and the Bleeding Heart (2014)
Bryant & May's Mystery Tour (2011)