Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Midnight at the Marble Arch, by Anne Perry

(hb; twenty-eighth novel in the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series)

From the inside flap:

"The horrifying rape and apparent suicide of Catherine Quixwood, wife of a wealthy merchant banker, falls outside the new jurisdiction of Special Branch head Thomas Pitt, but so pervasively offensive are the rumors about the victim that Pitt quietly takes a hand in the investigation.

"Yet even with the help of his ingenious wife, Charlotte, and his former superior, Victor Narraway, Pitt is stumped.  Why did the high-minded, cultured Catherine choose not to accompany her husband to a grand party on the night of her demise?  Why did she dismiss all her servants for the evening and leave the door unlocked?  What had been her relationship with the young man seen frequently by her side at concerts and art exhibitions?

"As an ordinary policeman, Pitt has once entered London's grand houses through the kitchen door.  Now, as a guest in those same houses, can he find the steel in his soul to challenge the great men of the world with their crimes?  The path to the truth takes him in deeply troubling directions, from the lofty world of international policies and finance to his own happy home, where his teenage daughter, Jemima, is coming of age in a culture rife with hidden dangers."


Review:

A strongly (over?)stated sense of outrage highlights this timely and sometimes suspenseful mystery - it's timely because Midnight deals with financial malfeasance, political factions and rape, which has dominated many recent, real-world news cycles.

Of course, Perry keeps Midnight engaging as a work of fiction as well, with her trademark warmth and/or chill between the characters, many of them ongoing in this often-excellent series.

Solid entry in the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series - worth checking out from the library.

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