With a myriad of motives, the question is who?
Detective Sergeant Michael Brennan of the Wigan Borough Police has no time for tales of ghosts and the afterlife, or of the dead contacting the living.
So, when he finds himself investigating the case of a recently widowed young woman, Alice Goodway, who has suddenly developed ‘the Gift’ of mediumship and has received a threatening letter, he embarks on the inquiry with no small degree of scepticism.
But just as Brennan and his burly colleague, Constable Jaggery, consider how to proceed with the case, something much more sinister takes place… a murder, in Alice’s own home.
Who would commit such a crime?
Could it be one of the seven ‘visitors’ who had been to sittings with Alice and not liked what they had heard?
Or the interfering and sanctimonious Inspector of Nuisances who strongly disapproved of the séances?
There are a lot of old wounds opened and painful memories shared with Brennan and Jaggery as they meticulously gather the information they need to solve the case. The challenge will be narrowing down the suspects, using clues from both the living and the dead…
This devilishly plotted Victorian whodunnit keeps the reader guessing right to the end, with red herrings aplenty scattered along the way.
Praise for A.J. Wright
‘This is an absolute gem of a historical crime novel – cleverly and intricately plotted, very well-written and convincingly evoking all the social problems of a late-Victorian industrial town’ – Crime Review
‘…the book vividly depicts the tensions and ramifications of the miners’ strike. The mystery is equally strong: the plot is fast-paced and cleverly strewn with red herrings and subtle clues. Highly recommended’ – Historical Novel Society
In 2009 A. J. Wright won the 2010 Dundee International Fiction Prize for his Victorian murder mystery Act of Murder. His writing is inspired by his two major interests: all things Victorian and classic works from the Golden Age of crime fiction. He lives near Wigan.
For such a long spiel it was a very mediocre book.
It took a while to read. A very long while. It was all fog, rain, frost, dirt, poor interior design and all in all doom and gloom of provincial English town.
The whole book was like one big foggy night. A whodunit set in industrial little town with all its misfortunes, hardship and grief. A murder mixed with clarivoyancy with an added taste of religious righteousness and blind stupidity of bureaucrats.
To be honest I was surprised with how this mystery turned out and who has done it (the murder). I have to give the author the right dues. But overall, I found this story dragging, lacking and… fogging.
I would not read any other books in the series, that is for sure.