London, 1841. Mr Jeremiah Blake and Captain William Avery, recently returned from India, are invited by Viscount Allington to examine the particulars of a grisly pair of murders. Two printers from the seditious gutter presses have been brutally dispatched in distinct but similar circumstances. Fearing the deaths will stoke the fires of Chartism sweeping the capital, Allington hopes Blake and Avery's determination to uncover the truth will solve these crimes and help restore civic order. But there are others who seem equally determined that the pair shall fail....
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I use audible because I am too lazy to hold a book.
In less exotic and historically dramatic surroundings than the first book in this series, The Printer's Coffin is certainly no less engaging. In fact, I would go so far as to say that in some respects this instalment is actually superior to the first in that it is slicker and without the carbuncle of the apparently obligatory romantic entanglements of many novels of the same genre.
I'm growing more fond of the pairing of the two characters. Avery may be more disappointed in life but still has an optimistic and endearing innocence and Blake's continued gruff mystery engages the reader and shows a deft control of the our relationship with the characters.
The plot's intrigue is nicely judged. It is set with enough historical detail to be plausible but not enough for it to become a lecture-like.
I know if it's a good book when I want to stand at a writer's elbow and chivvy them along to complete the next in the series and this is one of those times. Come along, Ms Carter!
A brilliant follow up to The Strangler Vine. I await Blake and Avery's next adventure
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