Bryant & May and the Burning Man: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery

Christopher Fowler. Bantam, $26 (416p) ISBN 978-0-345-54768-2
The onset of a form of dementia for series lead Arthur Bryant adds poignancy to Fowler’s 12th Peculiar Crimes Unit mystery (after 2014’s Bryant & May and the Bleeding Heart). When London is convulsed by massive riots sparked by the revelation that banker Dexter Cornell walked away from his partnership with millions, despite having cheated the bank’s customers out of their savings, the unit seeks to restore public order. As the protestors’ looting and arson continue, someone fatally torches Freddie Weeks, a recent employee of a sustainable food market who was sleeping rough on the streets. Weeks’s killing is followed by others, committed in particularly sadistic fashion, but with no obvious link among the victims. A diagnosis of a rare cognitive disorder raises doubts about Bryant’s fitness to serve with the PCU. The solution may disappoint a bit, but Fowler is even better than usual at getting readers to care about his squad of misfits. Agent: Howard Morhaim, Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 09/21/2015
Release date: 12/15/2015
Genre: Fiction
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