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Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Published by Simon
& Schuster, 21 April 2016. ISBN: 978-1-4711-3612-2
At the start of the book the
action is divided between the late 16th Century and the early 19th
Century. It begins in 1585 when a Dutch mercenary called Jacobus leads a paid
rabble to rampage through the finest library in England while he steals a
certain incredibly rare volume. The house they invade is at Mortlake, beside
the Thames, and the library belongs to John Dee, magician and alchemist.
Jacobus double-crosses his employers and memorises the information before
destroying the book, he then persuades his employers to give him the money to
build an island fort, promising that with the knowledge he has gained he will
enrich them all.
1815, River Constable Charles Horton and his wife Abigail are enjoying a rare
trip to the theatre. They are watching The Tempest and the story strikes an
immediate chord with Horton. Their evening is interrupted when Horton is
summoned to the scene of three brutal murders in Wapping, the murder victims
are Benjamin Johnson, his wife and daughter. Wapping is not in Horton's
jurisdiction but the killings have a strong resemblance to murders that Horton
had investigated three years ago. That killer had been known as the Monster, and
Horton had killed him – but now it seems the Monster has returned, or another
Monster has appeared in his place.
worked for the East India Company and the enormous, wealthy and powerful
Company has secrets it will do anything to keep concealed. As Horton struggles
to avoid the snares set in his path by the influential men who wish to hide the
truth, his wife, Abigail, also has a lonely battle to fight as she struggles to
regain and retain her mental health after time spent in a mental hospital.
Clever and well-read, Abigail knows that her husband needs her support as much,
and probably more, than she needs his, and continually battles his attempts to
smother her with his solicitude.
the threads of the investigation lead to the small island of Helena and, when
London becomes too dark and dangerous a place for Horton and his wife, they
travel there. On St Helena the past and present merge as they discover the
truth behind John Dee's stolen book, and they explore the parallels between St
Helena and Prospero's isle, and Abigail encounters the island's own Caliban. On
St Helena they track down a killer who is not the Monster but seems to be the
and the Devil
is a deeply intriguing, beautifully written book. It is the fourth book
featuring Charles Horton and I would have liked to read the previous three
books before I came to this one. The back-story is clearly explained but with
such a rich, multi-textured narrative I would have preferred to read them in
order and suggest that other readers might care to do that first, but I would certainly
recommend reading them. The Detective and
the Devil is a superb book, with an intriguing, multi-layered mystery and
compelling descriptions of the power and politics of the time and the
vulnerability of those who possessed neither wealth nor influence. Horton and
Abigail are strong and likeable protagonists and it is an excellent read.
Reviewer: Carol Westron
as a trade journalist and a digital product manager for the likes of the
Guardian, the BBC, Yahoo, Channel 4 and Financial Times Newsletters. Lloyd’s first
three books - The English Monster, The
Poisoned Island, Savage Magic, and The
Detective and the Devil - are set in London in the early 19th century. They
feature a detective who's never heard the word detective - a constable called
Charles Horton - and his boss, magistrate John Harriott. Horton and Harriott
are from the River Police Office in Wapping, London's second police office
after Bow Street. The crimes they investigate are not quite what they seem to
be. Lloyd lives in South London. With his wife and two children.
Westronis a successful short story writer and a Creative Writing
teacher.She is the moderator for the
cosy/historical crime panel, The Deadly Dames.Her crime novels are set both in contemporary and Victorian times.The Terminal Velocity of Cats is the
first in her Scene of Crimes novels, was published July 2013. Her second book About the Children was published in May