A gas workers’ strike cripples Leeds in Nickson’s strong first in a new Victorian series. As the police prepare to cope with the controversial arrival of nonunion replacement workers, Insp. Tom Harper learns that eight-year-old Martha Parkinson is missing. When the girl’s father, Col, claims that she’s visiting an aunt, Harper soon discovers that no such woman exists. Meanwhile, Col is found hanging from a ceiling beam in his cottage, an apparent suicide. The entire police force is needed to help contain the chaos created by the strike, limiting Harper’s time on the Parkinson case. But when a replacement worker is murdered by a pair of sinister strangers also seen with Col, Harper realizes that the mysteries may be connected. Nickson, whose Richard Nottingham series (Fair and Tender Ladies, etc.) depicts Leeds in the early 18th century, evokes the 1890 city with accuracy and color. Solidly characterized protagonists with interesting vulnerabilities are a plus. Agent: Tina Betts, Andrew Mann (U.K.). (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/20/2014 Release date: 12/01/2014 Genre: Fiction
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