cover image Come the Fear: A Richard Nottingham Mystery

Come the Fear: A Richard Nottingham Mystery

Chris Nickson. Severn/Creme de la Crime, $28.95 (224p) ISBN 978-1-78029-030-0

Set in 1733 Leeds, Nickson's outstanding fourth mystery featuring constable Richard Nottingham (after 2012's The Constant Lovers) shows that linking the crime under investigation to a wider plot of broader significance isn't necessary to carry the reader along. In the ruins of a house gutted by fire, Nottingham makes a gruesome find—the blistered husk of a woman's corpse, with her fetus ripped out and placed on her sliced-open belly. Identifying the victim proves a challenge, and Nottingham and his men have a hard time getting traction in an inquiry of no interest to anyone but themselves. Besides delivering an intriguing puzzle, Nickson does a fine job depicting Leeds's underclass ("A few thousand souls, so many of them pushed together in the cold, crowded spaces of the poor: faceless, anonymous folk, all working for the few who tasted luxury each day without thought"). Agent: Tina Betts, Andrew Mann Ltd. (Jan.)