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A Little White Death (Inspector Troy #3)

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  386 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
The latest novel from the master spy novelist John Lawton follows Inspector Troy, now Scotland Yard’s chief detective, deep into a scandal reminiscent of the infamous Profumo affair.
England in 1963 is a country set to explode. The old guard, shocked by the habits of the war baby youth, sets out to fight back. The battle reaches uncomfortably close to Troy. While he is on m
Paperback, 448 pages
Published February 8th 2007 by Grove Press (first published January 22nd 1998)
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Julian King
Jul 06, 2013 Julian King rated it it was amazing
I love the Frederick Troy series of novels (and they are proper novels): so vividly realised is the social history of England through these unconventional murder mysteries. The writing is deft and subtle, the characters interesting and fully rounded. Troy himself is real enough that I sometimes find myself wondering what he would say to his creator if he met him, so often is he injured, wounded and generally made a victim of extreme ill health. Poor Troy: Lawton really does have it in for him in ...more
Jan 15, 2013 Dianne rated it really liked it
I have had this on my bookshelf for over ten years without reading it. I can't see how I overlooked it. Most of the book was excellent with a good feel for the period - 1963 and the Profumo affair, Mandrax, amphetamines and the Beatles. The title refers to tuberculosis which Troy contracts in Moscow - the drug resistant form so common in Russian jails, otherwise known as 'Krushchev 'Flu'. I found the ending dragged a bit as various individuals reflected upon the times and loose end were closed. ...more
Jul 07, 2014 Mr rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A LITTLE WHITE DEATH is set in 1963-64 (yea, the Beatles!) and offers a plot loosely based on the Profumo Affair and the Kim Philby spy scandal. Of course, there are murders to solve. Frederick Troy is 48, now Commander of Scotland Yard's CID, but he still is sometimes referred to as “Alex Troy’s boy” (p10). Sidelined by a surprise case of tuberculosis, Commander Troy spends his sick time “listening out for England going ‘boom’” (p186), meaning the imagined sound of the up-and-coming, war-babies ...more
David Carr
Jan 13, 2012 David Carr rated it really liked it
I near the end of this extraordinary series with deep regret; these have been the most reliably engaging and provocative reading experiences. So as I put off picking up the last one for me, I will also hope that Lawton has something else to come. I think that the policeman/aristocrat Troy has a good deal of life in him at fifty, and a possible trans-Atlantic adventure to be led. The final sentence of this book is particularly ominous.

One can hope with a writer like this for two things: producti
This is my 3rd John Lawton, and as with the other two, I enjoyed this. John Lawton himself gave an comparative analysis on the historical period here and how he based his writing of it which I thought was both relevant and interesting. We all know there is quite a difference between the 1940's England and the Beatles era. A different country? A totally different change of reflective thought governing behavior and values? Or what? And how did it happen? This book addresses this through the ...more
I read this book in two days, fast for me. OK, it's not "The Critique of Pure Reason" or "War and Peace," but it is an exciting read--distinctive, quirky, believable characters in a complex mystery set in 1963 England.
For a plot, Lawton draws from the "Profumo Affair" that helped topple the Conservative government. It was a big scandal at the time. Cabinet member Profumo had been caught fooling around with a model named Christine Keeler.
I probably wouldn't even remember this if were not for an
Apr 26, 2016 Evelyn rated it really liked it
#3 in the Inspector Troy series.

Though I seem to have read this one out of order, it still worked just fine. This installment takes place in the early '60s as Swinging London is just hitting its stride and the old mores are looking decidedly passe. It's a version of the Profumo affair with a Troy twist.

Troy is in his 40s now, tired, cynical (well, more cynical than the younger Troy), and rather jaded about his life, his Scotland Yard career, his friends and his lovers. As he's been throughout th
Feb 28, 2013 Elizabeth rated it liked it
The latest novel from the master spy novelist John Lawton follows Inspector Troy, now Scotland Yard’s chief detective, deep into a scandal reminiscent of the infamous Profumo affair.

Too much Profumo, too little Troy. As usual Inspector Troy ignores all warnings and follows leads to the end no matter what they mean. For the first time, I was pretty turned off by his actions... sleeping with an old lover's teenage daughter. But on a larger scale, I found that, for most the book, he was more in lo
Jan 03, 2016 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in 1963 - a year of significance for me - and based on much of the history of that time, this is a crime novel but one which gives much more than the bare facts of the crime by also delving into the politics and social mores of the time; the changes in morality and music. Told though the eyes of a man older than my father was then, it is a different viewpoint than the one I had but is nevertheless fascinating and deserves to be read again.
Oct 15, 2010 Roxane rated it liked it
Shelves: thrillers
Mr. Lawton comes up with excellent story lines but when it comes to the women in his books - well, it is best just to ignore them. Either Mr. Lawton has a very poor opinion of women or he knows nothing about them. So, if you read this story - focus on the great story line and ignore the poor characterization when it comes to the women involved with the story.
Steve Culliford
Apr 21, 2013 Steve Culliford rated it really liked it
No 3 in the John Lawton Inspector Troy series. This one is set in the early 1960s at the time of the Profumo affair and when Troy has risen to become Commander Troy. A cracking read throughout. Although fictional, the historical parallels are obvious. I notice that for his next book in the series the author takes Troy back to his first case as Sgt Troy in 1941.
Aug 07, 2014 Chuck rated it it was ok
I like John Lawton and thought that "Now We Take Berlin" was an excellent spy novel. However, I can't say the same thing for this book. At his best, Lawton is wordy, but in this book it gets out of control. For most of the this book of over 400 pages, the action is slow moving with too much fat on the narrative meat. It's only in the last hundred pages or so that things pick up.
Ruth Swinney
Aug 20, 2014 Ruth Swinney rated it did not like it
I was disappointed by this book. It takes half of the book to reach the central mystery and then you need to be well versed in the political scandals of the fifties and sixties in England to really understand the implications of the plot. The ending did not make sense.
Feb 17, 2011 Sharron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: espionage
The entire Frederick Troy series is great - wonderful action packed espionage novels -and this title is no exception though "Blackout" is still my all-time favorite. If you haven't tried a book by Lawton, you are in for a real treat.
Jan 10, 2015 Sarah rated it it was ok
Not impressed! This book had too many extra story lines and never really got to the point. Also, I was very disappointed in Troy's women, especially Clover Brown, the 17 or 18 year old granddaughter of his former boss and daughter of his former lover. Disgusting! Does this man have morals?
Lisa Hinton
Jan 01, 2015 Lisa Hinton rated it it was amazing
I must have read this book at least 4/5 times as I love it so much and it's definitely my favourite Troy novel (narrowly beating Black Out). The sense of the 60s is really strong and I find the links to the Profumo affair fascinating. Also love the ending - sends a shiver down my spine every time.
Nov 14, 2010 Caroline rated it it was amazing
Quirky characters ... yup, that about sums it up. But the writing is very fine as well. No, ok it's not W&P. But I can't stand Tolstoy anyway. I like the series... and recommend it highly. But make sure you get the order right. Lawton wrote them out of order ...
Jun 16, 2011 Vickie rated it really liked it
Third book in the Inspector Troy series. Take place in London, 1963 and reflects the changes in popular culture (think Beatles and Carnaby Street) and political upheaval of the time (think Profumo). Excellent writing and great observation of the times.
Dec 21, 2010 Barbara rated it really liked it
this series is interesting - set before, during and after WWII. The main character is not always what you would expect - Lots of historical figures featured in stories.
Apr 20, 2012 Lynne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another very good story with an interesting 1960s setting. Troy doesn't seem to have aged really - he still is as driven as ever but the story works well.
Kelsey rated it really liked it
Jun 27, 2016
Jon R
Jon R rated it really liked it
Mar 20, 2016
Gerry Mayer
Gerry Mayer rated it liked it
Aug 31, 2016
mitzi rated it liked it
Aug 31, 2014
Joshua Wells
Joshua Wells rated it liked it
Jul 14, 2014
Nick Spooner
Nick Spooner rated it liked it
Jan 14, 2015
Hal rated it liked it
Aug 27, 2016
Rl rated it liked it
Oct 21, 2012
Angela rated it liked it
Oct 08, 2012
Gregory rated it it was amazing
Jan 06, 2014
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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 ...more
More about John Lawton...

Other Books in the Series

Inspector Troy (7 books)
  • Black Out (Inspector Troy, #1)
  • Old Flames (Inspector Troy, #2)
  • Bluffing Mr. Churchill (Inspector Troy, #4)
  • Flesh Wounds (Inspector Troy, #5)
  • Second Violin (Inspector Troy, #6)
  • A Lily of the Field (Inspector Troy, #7)

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