cover image Bethlehem Road

Bethlehem Road

Anne Perry. St. Martin's Press, $17.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-312-04266-0

With a steady hand at dissecting character and motivation, a keen grasp of social history and a flair for description of Victorian London, Perry guarantees a good read to those who like their murder in a believable historical and psychological context. Last seen in Silence in Hanover Close , London policeman Thomas Pitt and his well-born, well-educated wife, Charlotte, here investigate the gruesome murders of members of Parliament on night-shrouded Westminster Bridge. Because the murdered MPs held differing political views and had separate personal connections that might have each motivated a murderer or murderers, the case is as impenetrable as a pea-souper until the Pitts get to work. A real treat is the beautifully drawn character of a suffragette who has lost her daughter. Etched with pain and compassion unusual in a detective novel, this characterization makes up for a mildly disappointing turn of plot at the novel's conclusion. (July)