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The Invisible Code
Peculiar Crimes Unit Series #10
Christopher Fowler

Random House
2013/ ISBN 9780345528650
Mystery /
Police Procedure / Contemporary /British

Reviewed by LJ Roberts


First sentence: There was a witch around here somewhere.

A young woman dies in St. Bride’s Church—there is no apparent cause of death. Bryant and May are called to the office of Oskar Kasavian; the man determined to shut down the Peculiar Crimes Unit. However, that’s not why they were summoned. Instead, he wants them to find out why his wife, an Albanian Muslim, has been acting strangely. A second death seems to link the two situations and sends Bryant and May on a fascinating trail.

From the very first, you know you’re in for something unusual and quite delightful. However, light soon turns to dark and a sense of dread.

Although the PUC and filled with interesting characters, this book puts a greater focus on Arthur Bryant, the eldest and most peculiar of the PUC. He is well described as being…”as much a part of London as the hobbled Tower raven, a Piccadilly barber, a gunman in the Blind Begger, and he would not be moved from his determined path. He was, everyone agreed, an annoying, impossible and indispensible fellow who had long ago decided that it was better to be disliked than forgotten.” Bryant often seeing things in situations that others do not.

Crime Scene Manager/Info Tech Dan Banbury also receives more time in this book. It is fascinating to follow him through his Sherlockian forensic evidence search.

There are interesting observations on class barriers and on poverty. Fowler perfectly captures the snarkiness of which the wives of important men are capable and building their own hierarchy based on their husband’s success.

Fowler very cleverly takes seemingly disparate threads and slowly weaves them together. Even though the plot may seem to wander a bit, there is method to the madness as it slowly circles nicely around and ends with a very satisfactory close.

The Invisible Code is a delightful mystery filled with humor, fascinating details and a very good surprise at the end.Reviews of other titles in this series

Full Dark House #1
The Water Room #2
The Memory of Blood # 9 [review1] [review 2] [review 3]
Invisible Code #10 [review 1] [review 2]

Reviewed 2015