Wednesday, 26 June 2013

The Devil's Ribbon by D.E. Meredith

After thoroughly enjoying the first Hatton & Roumande book Devoured, I was thrilled to get a hardback of the second book (which is gorgeous to look at!) to review.

For those that don’t know Professor Adolphus Hatton is one of the first forensic detectives, implementing new forensic techniques to unusual police cases. He is aided by his friend and morgue assistant Albert Roumande. 

In this tale it is summer in London and temperatures are running high with not only a cholera outbreak but also increasing political unrest. The flamboyant yet shady Inspector Grey calls on Hatton and Roumande when an Irish politician is murdered which leads them on the trail of Irish extremists who have death and destruction in mind. The pair must use all their wits and skills, including a new fingerprinting method to help solve the mystery, which proves hard for Hatton as he becomes distracted by a beautiful woman who dredges up memories from his past. 

Once again D.E. Meredith has skilfully brought to life her clever characters in Victorian London. The crime scene and forensic details provide the fascinating and at times gory embellishments to a riveting story. It is interesting to note that many people of this time were hugely sceptical about early forensics; with opinions ranging from academic curiosity, mild disgust with references to butchery to public outrage with accusations of witchcraft.

Like the first book, I raced through this story, taking in every clue and hungry for the case’s conclusion. Intriguing and expertly written, once you’ve picked up a D.E. Meredith novel, you won’t want to put it down. 

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