Charles Maddox worked in the Detective, as the police are referred to here. He is now working alone as an investigator, but maintaining the contacts he knew. Charles' great-uncle was his mentor and inspiration with his early detective work, but is sadly now slowly succumbing to illness, having lucid moments when he is the man Charles has always known him to be, making keen, sharp observations about investigations, but then becoming almost someone else entirely as he is seized by this illness, which we would now recognise as dementia. 'Maddox's mood can plummet and soar as quickly and as violently as his command of reason.'...'The terror of knowing how much he no longer knows, or how black the blank spaces are becoming.'
The reference to the reader by the narrator, including us in their comments and observations by the use of 'we' and 'us', pulls us tightly in to the story, making us a companion walking through those very streets: 'So let us explore a little, while we wait for Charles. We could do with him now,...' I loved the writing style and use of language. This description made me smile: 'In these shops, third-hand counts as spanking new and most of the articles are so made-do and mended that it's hard to make out what they might once have been.' I think the author's passion and interest in this period is evident.
Published by Corsair on 2 February 2012 - available now in hardback and e-book editions.
You can find out more about the author on her website here and also follow her on twitter @Lynn_Shepherd