Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Dorchester Terrace-Anne Perry

Dorchester Terrace

Anne Perry

Ballantine, Apr 3 2012, $26.00

ISBN 9780345510624

In 1896, Thomas Pitt still struggles with replacing Victor Narraway as the chief of Scotland Yard’s Special Branch. Part of his concern is that his former boss was exonerated of all wrong doing in the recent Irish fiasco (see Treason at Lisson Grove), but was not returned to his position.

Pitt’s staff reports that someone has made inquiries into railway signals and points at the Dover-London rail. Pitt fears an assassination is being planned of a European dignity due to the Dover connection, but whom, where and when are unknown. In London, a demented elderly Italian ex agent and a Croatian wife may have the information Pitt needs; he turns to his spouse Charlotte to ferret out the data to prevent a heinous crime. When he learns Austrian Duke Alois Habsburg is coming to London via Dover, Pitt thinks he is the target, but cannot fathom why kill so many innocents to get at a minor noble; so he ponders whether that assassination is a distraction from the prime plan.

The latest Pitt late Victorian police procedural is a great mystery as the hero feels out of his depth running the branch while many others in government agree with his assessment. In fact only his wife and his former boss believe he is capable of doing the full job, which includes decision making in the gray fuzzy areas. Action-packed, fans will relish the insight into the tottering Austro-Hungarian Empire within a fabulous time ticking investigative thriller.

Harriet Klausner

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