London had Sherlock Holmes. The dark alleys of Edinburgh had Inspector McLevy.
Known as the father of forensics and a likely influence on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, real-life police inspector James McLevy is here reinvented by David Ashton in a thrilling mystery - the fourth in a series - set in dark, violent Victorian Edinburgh.
It's 1887. The streets of Edinburgh seethe with anarchy as two gangs of students rival each other in wild exploits. After a pitched battle between them, an old woman is found savagely battered to death in Leith Harbour. Enter the Thieftaker - Inspector James McLevy. With Constable Mulholland at his side, he scours the low dives of the waterfront and then sees the tendrils of the case spread to more respectable nooks and crannies.
When the inspector encounters Robert Louis Stevenson, author of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, in the city to bury his deceased father, the two recognise each other as fellow travellers, observers of the dark side of human nature, and hopeless insomniacs.
Glimpses of the murderer indicate a slender, androgynous figure with a silver cane, which is used to lethal effect. A dancing killer not unlike Mr Edward Hyde.
©2016 David Ashton (P)2016 Hodder & Stoughton
"David Ashton impeccably evokes Edinburgh." (Financial Times)
"Elegant and convincing." (The Times)
"Ashton is the direct heir to Robert Louis Stevenson." (Brian Cox)
"Excellent." (The Sherlock Holmes Society)
"A real page-turner." (Sunday Post)
"Dripping with melodrama and derring-do." (Herald)
Loved this story, lots of twists and turns. performance by Ashton is superb, although maybe an acquired taste for some people as it is much more of a one man show than a reading of the book.
A very good story full of atmosphere.
But the narration is ponderous and becomes a little irritating over time.
However it is a rattling good yarn
"An excellent addition to the series"
McLevy reveals a bit more of himself in each episode. The use of well known personalities to set off the plot is nicely done and has led more than once to further research. I know some listeners have problems with the narration, they take me back to radio dramas of my childhood and I love it.
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