My rating: 2 of 5 stars
It's been a long time since I read an Anne Perry and now I remember why. I really enjoyed the earlier books but after two dozen novels it's obvious she's run out of things for Pitt to do. I stopped reading these because it got insanely political especially with all the Inner Circle crap and remembered that once I started reading. Worse, this wasn't just over the top political, it was boring and slow. It only got interesting in the last seventy odd pages.
Charlotte who was Pitt's partner in crime solving has been reduced to a mere house wife with very little purpose other than to make Pitt feel at home. Her rich Aunt Vespasia is still enabling Pitt's detective work at least and since Pitt is no longer a real police officer (he's special branch, sort of the precursor to mI-5) we have chapters with his former subordinate, Tellman.
It opens with a bang, literally, as anarchists blow up a building on the titular Long Spoon Lane but only after they evacuated the innocents. One of the anarchists is shot and killed, the anarchists blame the cops and the cops blame the anarchists they caught. Worse, the dead man is the son of a wealthy lord Vespasia knows.
It looks like this case will be used to push through an unpopular bill that could arm the police and allow them to question servants without their masters being there, you know, like real people instead of tools. Pitt and company don't want that to happen so much so that he allies with Voisey who wants revenge on him. In fact he's warned against Voisey who is likely to betray him so many times I couldn't tell if I wanted him to not betray Pitt or just hurry up and be predictable.
This was a slog. The whole two thirds is just going around and around about that bill, interviewing the anarchists who kept saying the same thing and the Voisey drama again and again. This could have been half as long because it really went nowhere. I have a few other newer Anne Perry's lying around but I'm not motivated to read them after this.
View all my reviews