Set in 1890, Nickson’s second Insp. Tom Harper novel (after 2014’s Gods of Gold) falls several notches below his best work, notably his 18th-century Richard Nottingham series (Fair and Tender Ladies, etc.). A newly and happily married Harper, who worries that his loss of hearing in one ear may become permanent, is enjoying Christmas Eve with his wife, Annabelle, when he learns that a corpse has been found in a Jewish neighborhood of Leeds. The victim, Abraham Levy, was stabbed multiple times, his body arranged to make the sign of a cross, and his eyes covered with two bronze pennies. The timing of the crime and the staging of the body make local anti-Semites the logical suspects. The investigation Harper launches is pretty straightforward, and the plot is diluted by the gratuitous insertion of another mystery, drawn from real life—the disappearance in France of Louis La Prince, the inventor of motion pictures. Agent: Tina Betts, Andrew Mann (U.K.).
Reviewed on: 06/29/2015 Release date: 08/01/2015 Genre: Fiction