First Sentence: The following undated document appeared on Wikileaks and is now the subject of a government investigation.
the cast party, someone has murdered the theater owner’s infant son.
The bedroom is locked from the inside and neither blood nor fingerprints
are found; only the life-sized puppet of Mr. Punch, lying on the floor.
A cast of characters is always helpful, but usually not very
inventive. From Page One, it is clear this will not be your usual read
with your usual characters and each is fully developed and fascinating.
They are not necessary all people you’d want to know, but each becomes
real in your mind. The Peculiar Crimes Unit team, including their
long-suffering superior Raymond Lamb, is colorful and imaginative.
are immediately caught up in the author’s voice; his observations of
the English and the wonderful wry humor…”People described Salterton as
ageless in a way that wasn’t intended as a compliment. He seemed to
exist somewhere between post-menopause and post-mortem.” Throughout, the
author punctuates the story with simple statements of truth…”The gap
between rich and poor was not just one of wealth but of accountability.”
His use of language is to be savored… ”This, then, was Arthur Bryant
at work, his furrowed forehead bowed beneath the yellow light of the
desk lamp, a shambling Prospero residing over the desiccated pages of
his literary arcane, stirring fresh knowledge into the heady stew of
ideas that filled his brain.” The dialogue is excellent with some of
the exchanges between Bryant and May left to flow unhampered by
interruptions of so-and-so said.
The crime itself is anything
but ordinary. It is, at times, gruesome. It is also a wonderful entre
into the behind scenes working of a theater and the history of Punch and
Judy. Fowler is particularly good and teaching the reader about things
you didn’t even know you wanted to know.
“Memory of Blood” is a
very good book, filled with humor, imagination, suspense, and wonderful
characters. I am very happy to say there are, as of now, two more book
after this…and eight wonderful books before it.
THE MEMORY OF BLOOD (Pol Proc-Bryant and May-England-Contemp) – VG
Fowler, Christopher – 9th in series
Bantam Books, 2011