Ralph's Reviews > The Luciano Legacy

The Luciano Legacy by John Rigbey
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's review
Apr 25, 2014

it was amazing
bookshelves: crime, foreign-detective, mystery

The good that men accomplish in life are oft interred with the bones, but their evil lives after them, from generation to generation. Such is one of the major themes in "The Luciano Legacy," third in a series about Detective Chief Inspector Michael Gregory, written by John Rigbey, himself a former Scotland Yard detective who became a private enquiry agent after his retirement. Given the background of the author, it is not surprising that the characters and situations, especially those involving organized crime in the East End, seem spot on.

The story begins with the torture and murder of an old woman, who turns out to be nothing at all what she seems to be. In the midst of Gregory's investigation, another identical murder occurs, a disbarred lawyer who denied any knowledge of the old woman. Gregory's distrust of anything that seems like coincidence is validated not only by a third attack, but by all the information turned up in his bulldoggish hunt for the truths behind the lies. His enquiry takes him mot only deeper into the manufactured lives of the deceased and into the underworld of his own city, but into the past, into organized crime in America and the mafiosi of Italy, and into a forbidden love affair that began just as WW2 was ending.

As if Gregory does not have enough troubles and dangers from his present investigation, his marriage continues to crumble as a stranger now moves in with his estranged wife ("Oh no, Michael there is no one else"), and he comes into the cross-hairs of one of the new breed of police officers infesting Scotland Yard (and elsewhere in the world, sadly), one more interested in political and social activism than in policing and public safety. Inspector Marsh of Professional Standards (the Met equivalent of Internal Affairs) is quite willing to set a violent rapist free in London if it means bringing down a man he hates.

The three trials faced by Inspector Gregory are woven together in a tight and fast-moving plot that enthralls the reader from beginning to end. The characterization is brilliant throughout, not just in the recurring and main characters, but in those one-time characters who flash through the narrative like bright comets, fleeting but memorable. This book will certainly appeal to crime enthusiasts, as well as fans of police procedurals, with the added bonus that it is set in Scotland Yard, a venue often overlooked in print, with the notable exceptions of writers like John Creasey, PD James and Martha Grimes; fans of the genre now another another strong voice to listen to.

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Reading Progress

April 25, 2014 – Started Reading
April 25, 2014 – Shelved
May 14, 2014 – Shelved as: crime
May 14, 2014 – Shelved as: foreign-detective
May 14, 2014 – Shelved as: mystery
May 14, 2014 – Finished Reading

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