26 April 2014

Review: WHITE CORRIDOR, Christopher Fowler - audio book

 Synopsis (audible.com)

The unthinkable has happened at London's Peculiar Crimes Unit. In the depths of winter, a member of staff has been found murdered, and everyone who works there is suddenly a suspect. But Arthur Bryant and John May, the eccentric elderly detectives who run London's strangest crime division, aren't on hand to solve the crime. They've ventured into the heart of the English countryside, only to become stranded on a desolate snowbound section of road.  

My Take

I'm doing a bit of catch up with this series, and so am reading/listening to them very much out of order. That doesn't seem to matter though, and I must attribute that in part to the narrator Tim Goodman who brings them very much to life. At times it causes some continuity problems, but they are not insurmountable.

The elderly detectives Bryant and May have become stranded in a snow storm on a B road on their way to Cornwall. They are driving Bryant's landlady Alma's van to paranormal convention at which Arthur Bryant is meant to be giving a key note address.  The PCU is being re-wired to accommodate new computers and it seems that no-one will miss the elderly detectives if they are away for a couple of days. They leave Janice Longbright in charge of the PCU in London, and their boss Raymond Land is none too happy when Oscar Cassavian, his boss, schedules a visit from the Princess Royal. The future of the PCU is very much on the line and an unfavourable report from the Princess Royal may take their funding completely away. Cassavian is just waiting for something like that to crop up.

Meanwhile the death of a staff member occurs in the PCU mortuary and it seems likely that another member of staff may be the perpetrator. So Longbright consults with Bryant and May by mobile telephone. Meanwhile they discover that a driver in one of the stranded vehicles has also been murdered.

Tim Goodman's narration of these stories is wonderful and Arthur Bryant in particular, the older of the two detectives, really comes to life. The author has a particular quirky sense of humour. He also fills the novels with off-beat antiquarianisms, mainly related to the history of London.. The character development is excellent too. 

My rating: 4.8

I've also reviewed


Series (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) 

1 comment:

Margot Kinberg said...

Kerrie - I like this series a lot, and I think you're right that it can certainly be read out of order. Glad you enjoyed this one.


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