30 December 2023

Review: THE CAMDEN MURDER, Mike Hollow

  • This edition read on my Kindle (Amazon)
  • #7 in the Blitz Murder series
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0BBZ288RL
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Allison & Busby (December 15, 2022)
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 337 pages

Synopsis (publisher)

November 1940. As dawn begins to break, blackout regulations are rendered pointless by a car burning fiercely near the Regent's Canal in Camden Town, north London. In the burnt-out vehicle police find the charred remains of a body. The victim is Les Latham, a commercial traveller for the Baring and Sons confectionery company. He liked to be known as Lucky Les, but it seems his luck has finally run out.

Detective Inspector John Jago discovers a mysterious photograph and some suspicious-looking petrol ration books among Latham's belongings. These lead him off on a murky trail of deceit, corruption and murder. It seems that the Blitz Detective will have to make his own luck to bring to light an unexpected killer.

My Take

Another instalment in this lovely series with John Jago and his offsider Peter Cradock hunting down the person responsible for the death of a commercial traveller.

There are a number of red herrings to be discarded before the truth is finally revealed.

What I love about these books is the feeling of authenticity that comes from solid research and details gleaned from the news of the day. (Who knew that early RAF bombers were sent out with homing pigeons to deliver their location in the case of being shot down; or that Great Britain paid Jamaica NOT to export their banana crop?)

In some ways police procedures have not change in 80 years - fingerprinting, dental records etc - but these crimes are set against the setting and stress of London in 1940, and the characterisation is superb. There are glimpses of what is happening in the rest of the world and how England is surviving as Hitler attempts to cut it off.

You will notice that I've inadvertently skipped reading #6, THE PIMLICO MURDER, but I will remedy that in the New Year.

My rating: 4.5 

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