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Inspector Abberline and The Just King
Inspector Abberline Mysteries - Book II
Simon Clark

Robert Hale
30 September 2015 / ISBN 9780719816567
Mystery / England

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


Inspector Abberline and his reporter sidekick Thomas Lloyd are hot on the heels of a murderer in a most extraordinary place, the Isle of Faxfleet. This Yorkshire river island might be small, but through the whim of an 18th century monarch, has its own king. King Ludwig has made the island a home for inventors, poets, painters and thinkers, but somebody has murder in mind?

I seem to have read quite a few books lately that hit the ground running, but this one does not run out of steam and keeps on running all the way to the end. In the first few pages we have had a drowning, chase and interesting interrogation, and this sets the pace for a highly imaginative and lively tale. The kingdom of Faxfleet does not exist but in Mr Clark’s hands it comes to life and is not impossible to imagine. I didn’t even guess whodunit, and anybody who can manage to have a murder where a man spots a strange creature high in a tree and gets shot out of it by an arrow, as well as Jack the Ripper, gets my vote. Many people would do this rather over-the-top story very badly, but this author makes you care about the characters and keeps the pages turning at a rapid rate. This is the second in the series after 2014’s Inspector Abberline and the Gods of Rome and an improvement in a series that was already good. The first tale was very enjoyable, but somewhat marred by a superfluous supernatural aspect; this is 100% mystery and detection. If you like Sherlock Holmes and enjoy fast paced historical crime you ought to love this one. Very highly recommended.

Reviews of other titles in this series

Inspector Abberline and the Gods of Rome #1

Reviewed 2015