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Flesh Wounds (Inspector Troy #5)

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  376 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
"London, 1959: a city only just free of rationing, still littered with the ruins of war but straining at the modern age like a dog too long on the leash. Frederick Troy, Chief Superintendent of Scotland Yard, is celebrating the arrest and conviction of "King" Alf Marx, East London's "Mr. Big," the toughest gangster in town, when a car bomb goes off, killing fellow detectiv ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published February 18th 2005 by Atlantic Monthly Press
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Sam Reaves
Nov 11, 2015 Sam Reaves rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is apparently book number five in a series featuring Inspector Troy of Scotland Yard; I grabbed it because I had really liked Lawton's Then we Take Berlin and wanted more of the same. With this series, however, it turns out that it pays to start with the first one rather than jump in anywhere, as there's a lot of back story which keeps popping up throughout, not always relevantly. So don't start with this one; start with... well, that's a good question. The publication order is not the same ...more
Apr 21, 2011 Pamela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Much the best of Lawton's Inspector Troy novels. Perhaps because it is more of a police procedural rather than and attempt to mix London based police work with international espionage involving the secret services, as do his other novels. Also, the sex is less porny. However, this writer's obsession with nitwit nymphos is still on display and still unbelievable.
Aug 26, 2016 Sean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great read. I started reading it yesterday on a journey back from Portugal and only failed to finish it then because I fell asleep reading it in bed. I had some years ago read three other books by John Lawton and thoroughly enjoyed them so I knew what to expect. I don't read anywhere near as much fiction as I used to it but books like this could easily change that situation! It is labelled as crime fiction but it is so much more than that. Comedy, social comment, history, espionage - there is ...more
Feb 03, 2015 Joe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller

This is the fifth installment in the Frederick Troy series. Troy is a London homicide detective of Russian heritage - his father an immigrant who became a very powerful and wealthy newspaper publisher. The series takes place between the 1930's and the sixties and although there is a chronology to these books, the series doesn't follow a calendar. Also several of the books, including this one, have been published under different titles, i.e. same book, different title depending on if
Jun 10, 2014 Mr rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
FLESH WOUNDS opens with a scene from BLACK OUT (1995), and then skips 10 years ahead to 1959 and gang wars sparked by a fictionalized version of the notorious Kray twins. The psycho-killers twins are avatars of what the “Polish Beast,” Dr. Kolankiewicz calls “the moral decay we can expect in post-war life” (p30).

Troy suffers yet another major concussion, which sidelines the often-wounded detective for much of the novel and unleashes a parade of current and ex-lovers. (The Scotland Yard copper ha
Jan 05, 2013 Dianne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
John Lawton has an excellent feel for time and place. This novel is set in 1959 London; MacMillan's 'Never had it so Good'; East End hoodlums rubbing shoulders with society; the beginnings of the sexual freedom of the sixties; and an overall mood for change. Nominally a procedural detective novel, the first half is the story of Freddie Troy, his character, loves and life, as he recovers from a head injury received when a booby trapped police car explodes nearby. The second half is a more orthodo ...more
Dec 20, 2011 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed it immensely - like others in the series - but I would like to make a comment about comments posted by others for Lawton's books. It is irritating to see repeated complaints about the use of "British slang" by this author ... what on earth do they expect, the book is set in Britain? It is no more offensive or difficult than is the placing of American slang in books situated in the USA. If stuck - use a dictionary.
Jul 17, 2013 LindaH rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
The title refers to a classic piece of jazz, "Blue Rondo", on the 1959 album Time Out by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. I wish I'd known this fact when I started reading Blue Rondo by John Lawton; it would have saved me the expectation of a good conventional mystery and given me something else to appreciate, namely, the unusual rhythm of the story. Lawton is an excellent writer, and there are many brilliant passages, but I confess to attention-deficit during the detours involving the women in Chief I ...more
Although it kicks off in 1944, this book soon moves on to 1959, by which time Troy has reached the rank of Chief Superintendent in the Met and is running the Murder Squad at Scotland Yard.

There is actually no real story here until about half way through the book. Instead it focuses on Troy's personal life, which appears to consist of tangled sexual liaisons where everybody in his circle sleeps with everybody else with no apparent regard for feelings, consequences or even decency. One particular
Jul 06, 2012 Tracyk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this series because it covers a period in time that I enjoy reading about and want to know more about and the books are so beautifully written.

Flesh Wounds, originally published as Blue Rondo in the UK, is set in London of 1959. Troy is older and is being encouraged to retire due to injuries received on the job. A former lover, Kitty Stilton, has returned to London. She is the wife of an American presidential hopeful. Thus private investigator Joey Rork is in town to insure that Kitty beh
Apr 26, 2016 Evelyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inspector Troy #4

Troy's former lover, Kitty Stilton who married an American spy handler during WWII and left for America and life as the wife of a prominent politician returns. Her husband is now running for President and she's having an affair with a well known Italian singer (shades of Frank Sinatra). She's been shunted off to London to protect her husband's candidacy and keep her affair away from the American press.

She's also being trailed by an American detective who's job it is to make sure
Oct 23, 2009 Gloria rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Men who like spy/crime novels.
Recommended to Gloria by: NoveList Article
This is a good, solid story with lots of twists. One of its best qualities is helping the reader understand England during the years following WW-II, a period not nearly written about as often as the war years. It is a bit hard to follow the many British slang words and phrases; many were new to me even though I've heard & seen in print many British colloquialisms. There were many smaller stories included; the one writing faux pas perhaps is how the author made such a point of resolving each ...more
Making my way through this series; Inspector Troy is getting more callous as the storyline moves into more contemporary times. The earlier stories were more like Foyle's War, taking place during WWII. This is set in the 1950s and gangsters and gun violence are moving in. As one of the characters notes, after the war, former soldiers still have guns and they aren't going to go back to the traditional class structure anymore. While I have some issues with the stories and Lawton's portrayal of wome ...more
Aug 27, 2014 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Had this not been called 'Blue Rondo' I might not have picked it off the shelf - 'Flesh Wounds' far too much like the title of a book any of a dozen others could have written.
Which is a shame because John Lawton is a writer like no other (and I ashamed that I've not heard of him until now) In fact he writes with a casual confidence that says he knows exactly how to seduce his readers, and strongly mirrors the character of Freddie Troy.
Sense of place and of time are convincing, and now I feel I n
Jan 28, 2009 Terry94705 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first inspector Troy I have read. Lawton seems to be a literate writer, but the Troy character had no depth, just continual flashbacks of moments in his past. Perhaps we are supposed to read this affectlessness as some sort of shell shock (we know he was involved in WWII) but it had the effect of making me completely disinterested in the character. And as a special plus, the plotting is thin too.
David Brown
What boring book. He spends the first 150 pages having casual sex with all and sundry including his sister. A few dismembered bodies turn up but they are of little consequence. With about 100 pages left to go things finally warm up but even the climax is under done. Then we go back to a bit more casual sex. Yawn.
Jun 30, 2014 Johnny rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
1/2 done, readable but tad too sordid for me, (view spoiler). Second half better than first, more a straight cops and robbers story with the high and mighty thrown in for color. Easy enough to read but never making it over the top for me after the sordid start.
Apr 27, 2008 Trilby rated it really liked it
Brutal gangs, adultery, incest, explosions, political intrigue, police corruption, class warfare--amazingly, all in 1957 England. This ain't the 'Fifties of American TV. If you get irritated at plowing through page after page of British slang, don't even begin this. However, this is a very well-made and amusing mystery/thriller, the next DCI Troy book after "Old Flames."
Bar a singular lapse into tastelessness, Blue Rondo nicely pulls a number of threads from the previous Inspector Troy stories and frames them against the rise in rampant criminality that swept in at the beginning of the 1960s. Much less of a Roman à clef than those previous titles and in many ways the better for it, but it would be nice to see a story without Troy taking a beating.
Feb 01, 2011 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Better than I expected given that it's quasi-predecessor Black Out was less impressive. The biggest knocks against it are the subtextual (and occasionally overt) misogyny, but that is somewhat balanced by the main character's overall misanthropy.
Nov 20, 2011 Jeanoc rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fifth in series
Published in the UK as Blue Rondo (#5 in the series)
Oct 21, 2010 Roxane rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers
I believe that if you can't say something nice - say nothing at all....thus i am saying 'nothing'...
Feb 15, 2010 Sheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It's witty without being cliched. It's entertaining without a lot of gimmicks.
Jan 13, 2015 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Almost Put this book down halfway through.
Did not like the addition of incest to Inspector Troy's character
Dec 23, 2014 Susanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enjoy the characters and the plotting. Lawton is always a good read.
Al rated it it was amazing
Jan 04, 2016
Judith Buckingham
Judith Buckingham rated it really liked it
Jul 21, 2014
Glen Perron
Glen Perron rated it it was amazing
Jul 28, 2014
Richard rated it it was amazing
Aug 31, 2012
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John Lawton is a producer/director in television who has spent much of his time interpreting the USA to the English, and occasionally vice versa. He has worked with Gore Vidal, Neil Simon, Scott Turow, Noam Chomsky, Fay Weldon, Harold Pinter and Kathy Acker. He thinks he may well be the only TV director ever to be named in a Parliamentary Bill in the British House of Lords as an offender against t ...more
More about John Lawton...

Other Books in the Series

Inspector Troy (7 books)
  • Black Out (Inspector Troy, #1)
  • Old Flames (Inspector Troy, #2)
  • A Little White Death (Inspector Troy, #3)
  • Bluffing Mr. Churchill (Inspector Troy, #4)
  • Second Violin (Inspector Troy, #6)
  • A Lily of the Field (Inspector Troy, #7)

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