London in the swinging '60s provides the setting for this latest in Lawton's series featuring Scotland Yard lawman Frederick Troy. Troy finds himself a reluctant attendee at several country weekends where a flashy acquaintance, Dr. Patrick Fitzpatrick, holds sybaritic court. The aristocratic Troy has been, equally reluctantly, attempting to acclimate himself to the wide-open atmosphere of the new England, a country in the grip of a seismic social and sexual upheaval. Fitz and several government cronies have been shagging a pair of beautiful twins, the Ffitch sisters, and the equally lovely but underage Clover Browne. When Fitz is arrested for "immoral earnings and procurement," Troy escapes the media spotlight, confined to a sanatorium with a nasty case of tuberculosis. Troy rallies to investigate after several participants in the Fitz scandal are found dead. The whodunit phase takes several hundred pages to ignite, but Lawton is such an entertaining, literate storyteller it doesn't really matter. Once the now frail Troy steps in, neither threats, beatings, near-drowning nor shooting can frighten him off the case. New readers who fall under the considerable spell of the indefatigable Troy can seek out earlier adventures, Black Out, Old Flames, Riptide, Flesh Wounds and Bluffing Mr. Churchill. Agent, Claire Alexander. (Feb.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
"[Lawton's] work stands head and shoulders above most other
contemporary thrillers, earning those comparisons to Le Carre." --
"Flawlessly re-creates the tensions of a society . . . teetering on the brink of a social and sexual revolution . . . Lawton's trick is to take the threads of history and weave them into his own tapestry."
"John Lawton is so captivating a storyteller that I'd happily hear him out on any subject." -- Marilyn Stasio
"Lawton's uses the mitieu and ambiance of a time of social and ethical turmoil to write a graceful story that is peopled with historical and fictional characters and features. . . . Highly recommended." -- Roland Person
"Unputdownable narrative of spying, sexual intrigue, political scandal, and murder . . . a haunting novel transcending the bounds of genre fiction." -- A. N. Wilson