Synopsis: Edinburgh, 1888. A violinist is murdered in his home. The dead virtuoso’s maid swears she heard three musicians playing in the night. But with only one body in the locked practice room – and no way in or out – the case makes no sense.
Fearing a national panic over another Ripper, Scotland Yard sends Inspector Ian Frey to investigate under the cover of a fake department specializing in the occult. However, Frey’s new boss, Detective ‘Nine-Nails’ McGray, actually believes in such supernatural nonsense.
McGray’s tragic past has driven him to superstition, but even Frey must admit that this case seems beyond reason. And once someone loses all reason, who knows what they will lose next…
My review: This is the first book in months where I’ve loved or hated something enough to feel compelled to review it. There is a rant due about Maximum Ride from James Patterson but that was part of book club and I’ll link to it when it’s published.
But Strings…I loved this right from the start. It’s easy to read and difficult to put down once you get started. I can’t remember the last time I had to stay up until the early hours to make sure I finished something. We start with Inspector Ian Frey being fired from Victorian CID due to a change in management followed by being dumped by his fiancée. A late night visit from the Prime Minister sends Frey up to Edinburgh for some covert operations and the start of a new career investigating the occult.
This is where for me the story really kicked in when Frey meets his new colleague None-Nails McGray (although for some reason I constantly read his name as McGarry). The best bit about this novel for me, is the relationship between these two policemen. I loved the constant sniping, the name calling, the sense of humour, the fact that despite their differences by the end of the book there’s a begrudging committment to each other.
There are plenty of twists and turns in the story,with several characters we are left wondering about them setting us up nicely for future stories. Normally this would bug me but there’s enough going on that we can wait for secondary characters to be filled out as we go along. The reader is often led down a path thinking they murderer could be this or that person before quite often ending up dead themselves with the big reveal being for once a nice suprise.
Overall this is a fantastic debut novel and I can’t wait to read the next one