Synopses & Reviews
Malta, 1913, and hot air balloons hover over the Grand Harbor. But one of them falls from the sky, the balloonist dying later from his injuries. He is not the only one to die unexpectedly at the Naval Hopspital, however, as a letter to The Times
points out. Special Investigator Seymour of the Foreign Office is sent out from London to uncover the truth.
Malta is still a British protectorate; indeed, with its red post boxes, English beer and English language, it seems like an exotic "Little Britain." But as the rumblings of war reach the small island, many of the old Maltese families are becoming divided in their loyalties, as some start to question Malta's subordinate status and wonder whether the time has come to strike out an independent path for themselves.
The letter to The Times has touched a raw nerve, as Seymour soon finds out: is it simply a critique of bad nursing practices? Or is there a different, more sinister explanation to these sudden deaths?
"Set in 1913, Pearce's thin seventh mystery to feature Scotland Yard's Sandor Seymour (after 2009's A Dead Man in Naples) opens with an intriguing puzzle. Seymour, a troubleshooter routinely dispatched across Europe to handle sensitive inquiries, looks into three suspicious deaths on the island of Malta--two British sailors and a German balloonist have expired after being admitted in good health to a British naval hospital. The aviator, Kiesewetter, entered the hospital for observation after his hot-air balloon landed unexpectedly. Witness reports that an unknown person was seen bending over the supine body of one of the sailors shortly before the sailor's demise add to concerns that a murderer might have been at work. Unengaging scenes between Seymour and his love interest as well as a denouement that doesn't fulfill the promise of the premise will disappoint fans of Pearce's superior Mamur Zapt series (The Mark of the Pasha, etc.). (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
Praise for Michael Pearce's Dead Man series:
The steady pace, atmospheric design, and detailed description re-create a complicated city. A recommended historical series.--Library Journal
Sheer fun.--The Times (UK)
Malta, 1913. Is there a link between a hot air balloon crash and a string of sinister deaths? Seymour of the Foreign Office is sent from London to find out.
Michael Pearce was raised in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan and lives in southwest London. He is best known as the author of the award-winning Mamur Zapt books.
The seventh crime thriller in the exotic and atmospheric Dead Man series.
About the Author
Michael Pearce was raise in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, where his fascination for language began. He later trained as a Russian interpreter but moved away from languages to follow an academic career, first as a lecturer in English and the History of Ideas, and then as an administrator. Michael Pearce now lives in southwest London.