The Broken Token

Chris Nickson, Crème de la Crime, $15.95 paper (269p) ISBN 978-0-9560566-1-0
Music journalist Nickson (The NPR Curious Listener’s Guide to World Music) makes an impressive mystery debut, set in 1731 Leeds. Early one morning, constable Richard Nottingham’s trusted deputy, John Sedgwick, bangs on his door to announce a double murder. In a poor neighborhood street, Nottingham recognizes dissenting preacher Daniel Morton, whose slashed corpse is entangled with the stabbed body of the constable’s ex-serving girl, Pamela Watson, who’d been “like a third daughter” to him before she left his household to marry a farm laborer. A token that Nottingham once gave Pamela, a penny cut in half to signify parted lovers, appears to have been torn from a ribbon around Pamela’s neck. Nottingham and Sedgwick interview whores, pimps, and procurers in an effort to catch the lunatic who slays three couples in six days. Multiple threads of the case come together at the end in an unexpected and disturbing conclusion. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/16/2010
Release date: 10/01/2010
Genre: Fiction
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