Don’t you love it when you discover a new author whose books you enjoy and you can look forward to reading other works by that writer?
I do. At least I did before I came across Edward Marston! I read one of his books last year. It was called Five Dead Canaries and I really enjoyed it.
When I picked up this one, I decided to Google him and find out more… only to discover the man has written more than 100 novels.
Now how the hell am I going to fit all those in? My To Be Read Shelves are already groaning under the wright of several hundred books just waiting to be picked out.
Mind you, first world problems and all that. And it doesn’t stop me enjoying his work.
Now Mr Marston has written several series of books and apparently his most famous is the Railway Murders series.
This is not one of those. This, just like Five Dead Canaries, is a book in the Home Front Detective series of which there are currently nine with a tenth coming out in October this year (2023). Five Dead Canaries was number three in the series and Under Attack is number seven.
One of the big draws for me was that this book is set at the time of the First World War (1914-18) but actually has nothing to do with the First World War. It is set, as the series title tells us, on the Home Front. Specifically in London with the Metropolitan Police because crime did not stop just because the world was at war.
Detective Inspector Harvey Marmion and his sidekick Sergeant Joe Keedy are on the murder squad and the entire series is based around their crime solving prowess.
In this story a body is pulled from the Thames by the River Police and it is clear that a well-to-do gentleman has been murdered. It takes a while to discover who the victim is but when the wealthy businessman is identified, Marmion and Keedy try to find out who would want to kill him and why.
In the meantime, gangs of youths are causing chaos in the East End and the Met wants someone to go undercover to get intel to stop the escalation of the gang warfare that is making locals’ lives a misery.
And if that’s not all, Marmion’s son, who has been invalided out of the Army, has gone awol after a difficult time with him recuperating from injuries in the trenches and his family are desperate to find him.
All these strings are pulled together in a tantalising way and I really enjoy the characters in this series of books. In addition Marmion has a daughter who is one of the first women police officers and is engaged to Keedy.
It’s one of those books where things change so quickly it feels like you are being dared to keep up and I love those.
If you like a little bit of history and a little bit of murder, this series could be one for you.