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Synopsis: Leeds, England, Christmas Eve, 1890. DI Tom Harper is looking forward to a well-earned rest. But it s not to be. A young man has been found stabbed to death in the city s poverty-stricken Jewish district, his body carefully arranged in the shape of a cross, two bronze pennies covering his eyes. Could someone be pursuing a personal vendetta against the Jews?
Harper s investigations are hampered by the arrival of Capitaine Bertrand Muyrere of the French police, who has come to Leeds to look into the disappearance of the famous French inventor Louis Le Prince, vanished without trace after boarding a train to Paris.
With no one in the close-knit Jewish community talking to the police and with tensions rising, DI Harper realises he ll have to resort to more unorthodox methods in order to unmask the killer.

Me: The second of the DI Tom Harper crime novels. This one caused me no end of confusion as one of the bad guys shares a name with a work colleague. However the work colleague is a big steampunk fan and like to dress as such, has ginger hair and is a  union guy such as another character Maguire. So in the end all three ended up as one person with my work colleague being chased around Victorian Leeds by the police!

Real life people confusions aside this is another excellent book in the Harper series. Following on from our introductory book Nickson continues to build his characters and they start to feel almost real. I now have very clear images of characters just by the mention of their names. As mentioned before I managed to read book 4 before the others so I’ve now got a clearer idea on how relationships happened and became as they are. Book 3 will fill in the final gaps. Without giving away any spoilers the strained friendship of Harper and Reed in book 4 is explained in this books and I found it really sad. I can see why it had to happen but I guess that’s a testament to the writing when you’re routing for things not to happen.

It’s another good book, fast paced. I could see parallels between the trials of the Jewish population and current events of today with displaced refugees of Syria and other countries. And as usual as a life long resident of Leeds it’s fun to work out where the richly described streets and landmarks once were.

Another great story; thumbs up

 

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