Synopses & Reviews
A story of high intrigue and low politics, of brutal murder and cunning conspiracies, set against the backdrop of a fascinating period in British history and introducing an ingenious, pragmatic, and unforgettable hero. St. Giles, London, 1829three people have been brutally murdered and the city simmers with anger and political unrest. Pyke, sometime Bow Street Runner, sometime crook, finds himself accidentally embroiled in the murder investigation but quickly realizes that he has stumbled into something more sinister and far-reaching. In his pursuit of the murderer Pyke ruffles the feathers of some powerful people and, falsely accused of murder himself, he soon faces a death sentence and the gallows of Old Bailey. Imprisoned and with only his uncle and the headstrong, aristocratic daughter of his greatest enemy who believe in him, Pyke must engineer his escape, find the real killer, and untangle the web of politics that has been spun around him.
"Set in 1829 London, Pepper's hard-hitting first Pyke mystery introduces the vicious and vengeful Pyke, a crooked Bow Street Runner. Reform-minded home secretary Robert Peel plans a new police force to replace the Bow Street Runners, whose cozy relationship with London's low-life and corrupt elite have benefited Pyke and company, heretofore the only law enforcers in town. The murders of a runaway Protestant/Catholic Irish couple and of Pyke's mistress inflame sectarian conflicts. Framed by his enemies, Pyke is sent to notorious Newgate prison, where he and an aristocratic female prison reformer begin a long and tortured relationship. In a gripping chase scene, Pyke manages to escape Newgate and find his way to Ulster in pursuit of a hate-ridden Irish constable. While readers will learn a lot about the turbulent period in British history that culminated in Catholic emancipation, the brutish Pyke and the book's graphic violence won't be to every taste. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Andrew Pepper is the author of The Revenge of Captain Paine.