The Flooze's Reviews > Full Dark House

Full Dark House by Christopher Fowler
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's review
Apr 06, 13

bookshelves: mystery, vanquished_2009
Read in February, 2009

In a delightfully British mystery, we meet Bryant and May, detectives in the Peculiar Crimes Unit. The story flits back and forth between the Blitz and the present, as May tries to find a correlation between a modern day bombing and the first crime he and Arthur Bryant tackled.

Pitching back and forth between two time periods, we learn much of the Unit's beginnings in a war torn climate. A series of murders in a theater contrasts with the numerous deaths surrounding London. While dodging bombs from above, our detectives rely upon each other's strengths and form a balance between the believer and the skeptic, the fanciful and the logical.

As much a murder mystery as a tale of friendship, Full Dark House brings to life two very distinct personalities and their journey through the secrets of the dark recesses of the theater. Bryant and May's camaraderie is supported by a cast of amusing characters: the confident female DS, the hard-nosed rules-loving newbie, the humourless forensic tech, some white witches and of course a fierce landlady who happens to be handy with a sword when the need arises. They serve to both bring attention to and validate the mad antics of Arthur Bryant as he solves his case in unorthodox ways. Flashes to the present show how much London (a character unto itself) has changed, as well as the degree to which May's perception of the city has been forever coloured by his partner's influence.

All together, Fowler has created a likable cast of characters, as well as an interesting and twisted mystery. An interesting debut to this mystery series that leaves the reader wondering what the next Peculiar crime will bring.
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