Headline -2001
ISBN: 074727339 - Hardcover
Historical Mystery

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde,
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Thomas Pitt is in trouble.  Although his slender but damning evidence has been enough to convict and hang the wealthy scholar John Adinett this time he isnít going to get a pat on the back from his superiors.  Adinett was a member of the Inner Circle and offending them is the worst thing he can do.  Suddenly Pitt finds himself in Spitalfields on an undercover operation to root out anarchists as well as no longer being in charge of Bow Street.  He is alone for the first time since his marriage but Charlotte, Gracie and Tellman arenít going to take it lying down.  What exactly is wrong with the sugar factory and what is the big secret that has journalist Lyndon Remus hot on its trail? 

Despite their teasing plots and breathless suspense I am glad to see that Perry has broken away from what had become a set pattern for each novel Ė first by taking her protagonists to the Civil War and now by demoting Pitt and sending him on an undercover mission to Whitechapel.  This gives the book the added frisson of top secret work which is not entirely new but sending Pitt out on his own gives a respite from the sometimes cloying cosiness of endless family scenes that (in my opinion) sometimes detract from the novelsí menacing ambience. Perry excels at describing Victorian social conditions from palaces to slums and here she has plenty of material to work with and the result is a highly suspenseful tale; well plotted and full of surprises and highly detailed descriptions that made it spring to vivid life.  Perry is one of our best authors of this type of thing Ė more, more!

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