Gods of Gold instantly transports the reader to 19th century Leeds, with its atmosphere of grittiness and extremes of power and powerlessness. Detective Inspector Tom Harper makes his debut, as a champion of law and justice, however difficult such a task may be in the last decade in the 1800s.
Chris Nickson builds his novel by retelling his father's story of the proprietress of the Victoria in Sheepscar, a distant relative of theirs. Annabelle, who rose from maid to mistress is Tom Harper's fiancé in Nickson's tale.
In June 1890 Leeds is in crisis, with strikers and strikebreakers and the ever present criminal that preys on the misfortunes of others. A young girl, Martha is reported as missing by the beat officer but her mother is in prison and her petty criminal father first lies and later is found dead.
Harper and his assistant,older veteran Billy Reed, are told that the polarizing strike is the only focus of the entire police force. Determined to find Martha, the two begin to realize that all the crises have common perpetrators, protected by the city's powerful.
Superb historical detail and depictions of time and place make this an irresistible choice of a historical police procedural. I recommend this book for anyone who likes a good mystery,historical or not. Be ready to read,the preorder links are posted.