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Lawless and the Devil of Euston Square
Lawless Mystery Series - Book I
William Sutton

Titan Books
27 November 2015 / ISBN 9781785650154

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


Campbell 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.

Reviewed 2016