Lawless has recently arrived in London from Scotland where
he was formerly a clockmaker. One night he is summoned by
a street boy to the renowned Inspector Wardle to help deal
with a daring act of sabotage at Euston Station. There is
also a body, possibly that of the saboteur or maybe not. This
act sends Lawless off on a hunt for the elusive Berwick Skelton,
and a mystery that will encompass the lowest and highest in
the land, including the Royal family.
Originally published back in 2006 as The Worms of Euston
Square, this is the first in Sutton's Lawless series.
Apart from the detective aspects of the story this book is
one to read if you want to get under the skin of what life
in the London of 1859 was like. This is the time of great
industrial progress as new inventions and discoveries are
changing people's lives forever, but also of The Great Stink,
cholera, child labor and grinding poverty. No surprise that
some people have had enough and there is a whiff of revolution
in the air. The author has certainly done his research, and
plunges the reader into mid 19th century London from the first
page. If you want a fast paced page-turner of a mystery you
might be advised to look elsewhere however, as this is very
much a book with a more literary feel than the average historical
mystery. There is a lot in here, from cameo appearances by
famous Victorians like Marx and Dickens to street boys talking
in cant, music halls, industrialists, Royals and Lawless'
delightful librarian sidekick. Anybody who wants more from
their historical crime novel than just a plot might find this
fits the bill.