Saturday, November 14, 2015

Skin Like Silver- A Tom Harper Mystery - Chris Nickson ~ Always a Winner!

"Leeds, England. October, 1891. A fire during the night destroys half the railway station. The next day a woman's s body is found in the rubble."

An intricately complex mystery that is also completely intriguing and engrossing. Chris Nickson's characters have so much depth and presence that they seem to be alive. 

Tom Harper's world was gritty, dangerous and rife with political intrigue. More than the usual cast of suspects commit an astonishing amount of murders. Catherine Carr did not die in the fire but who killed her and why? 

Harper's wife Annabelle belonged to the same Suffragist Society as the murdered Catherine,but were the negative sexist politics to blame? Was the killer in the lineup of haters who jeered the women as they went into the lecture hall?

Catherine's brother escapes from the insane asylum and begins a reign of terror in Leeds. He has sympathetic supporters at first until the violence gets out of hand. 

Sgt. Billy Reed is recruited from the Fire Brigade because Catherine's brother is also an Afghanistan veteran trained in tracking and shooting. The Sergeant, now with a stable homelife, becomes torn between returning to the police force or returning to an investigator job with the Fire Brigade.

The major historical facts were accurate, as always, including a fire at the New Station in Leeds at that same year.A coroner's case involving a dead baby also was factual,as was the first electric tram in Leeds.

I love the period detail as well as the historical facts that the crime aspects of these stories are intertwine with. This 3rd Victorian Police Procedural is an extremely fine work and I heartily recommend it to all who appreciate historical mysteries

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