Hangman's Corner

Peter King, Author
Peter King, Author Five Star (ME) $25.95 (275p) ISBN 978-1-59414-645-9
Hardcover - 407 pages - 978-1-4104-0918-8
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Set in 1870 London, King's lively first in a new series introduces hansom cab driver Ned Parker, who hides out with such colorful cohorts as Smiling Sid, Paddy Reilly and Benny the Brain at Hangman's Corner, a former gallows site in Battersea Park. When one of Ned's fares, a possible suspect in the theft of church valuables, turns up in the Thames dead of stab wounds, Ned agrees to assist Det. Rollo \x93Jacko\x94 Jackson, much as the cabbie's late father used to aid undercover police investigations. After the arrest of fellow driver Herbert Summers for the murder on dubious evidence, Ned vows \x93to get every cabby in London to help,\x94 all 6,000 of them. Ned's quest for justice takes him to the British Museum, where he encounters Karl Marx writing his opus; the blood-soaked Smithfield meat market; and eventually a tunnel under the site of a Spanish treasure galleon's sinking centuries earlier. King (The Jewel of the North) ends his busy, at times improbable tale with a stock chase scene across London. (Apr.)
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