Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Full Dark House by Christopher Fowler

   Arthur Bryant and John May have worked together for 60 years as detectives for London's Peculiar Crimes Unit until a mysterious explosion abruptly ends Arthur's life.  John is heartbroken over the loss of his best friend and decides to personally investigate the strange and unexpected circumstances of his friend's death.  The clues he finds lead him back to the first case he investigated with Arthur Bryant - a string of murders in a London theatre in the throes of WWII.  It is a case that both Arthur and John had considered closed - until now - leading John to believe that something incredibly dangerous was overlooked 60 years ago.

   This book is like 2 mysteries for the price of 1!  As John relives his first investigation from the 1940s, he also begins to unravel the mystery of his partner's tragic death.  Christopher Fowler is a great writer and did a great job with the organization and juxtaposition of these two stories.  There are so many diverse elements in Full Dark House I can't imagine why it wouldn't appeal to everyone in some way or another.  It includes elements of mystery, history, botany, chemistry, Greek mythology, literature, and even a little bit of romance!  This may sound overwhelming, but Fowler weaves them all together perfectly, and then the story unravels in very unexpected and (dare I say) peculiar ways.  I read this book for my book club and I'm really looking forward to discussing it with the rest of the group later this week.

   Full Dark House is the first in the Bryant and May mystery series (a.k.a the Peculiar Crimes Unit mystery series).  So far there are 10 books in the series, and if you want to know more about the Bryant and May mysteries you can visit Christopher Fowler's blog.