Second Violin

John Lawton, Author Atlantic Monthly $24 (419p) ISBN 978-0-87113-991-7

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.)

Reviewed on: 09/15/2008
Release date: 11/01/2008
Paperback - 419 pages - 978-0-8021-4431-7
Hardcover - 419 pages - 978-0-297-85196-7
Paperback - 514 pages - 978-0-7538-2414-6
Open Ebook - 817 pages - 978-1-61185-987-4
Open Ebook - 978-1-322-35548-1
Open Ebook - 432 pages - 978-1-55584-862-0
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