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Second Violin

John Lawton, Author
John Lawton, Author Atlantic Monthly $24 (419p) ISBN 978-0-87113-991-7
Reviewed on: 09/15/2008
Release date: 11/01/2008
Hardcover - 419 pages - 978-0-297-85196-7
Paperback - 419 pages - 978-0-8021-4431-7
Open Ebook - 387 pages - 978-1-61185-987-4
Paperback - 514 pages - 978-0-7538-2414-6
Open Ebook - 432 pages - 978-1-55584-862-0
Hardcover - 419 pages - 978-0-297-85264-3
Hardcover - 432 pages - 978-0-7538-2450-4
Hardcover - 432 pages - 978-1-61185-586-9
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Lawton’s engrossing sixth entry but the first chronologically in his Inspector Troy thriller series (Black Out , etc.) chronicles the major events leading up to WWII—Germany’s annexation of Austria, Chamberlain’s peace efforts, Kristallnacht —while providing a disturbing picture of anti-Semitism and class frictions in England at the time. As part of Scotland Yard’s murder squad, Insp. Frederick Troy investigates a series of slayings of London rabbis, but various subplots equally intrigue, notably one that unfolds in an internment camp for Germans, Jews and foreigners—including Troy’s Austrian-born brother, Rod—rounded up after Britain’s entry into the war. At one point, Troy and a lady friend discover the “aphrodisia of war” in Hyde Park, a spot popular with couples for copulation during the blitz. Lawton does a fine job of incorporating such lesser known period details into his saga, though some readers may find he relies too often on deus ex machina for their taste. (Nov.)

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