The Man in the Shadows
by Alys Clare
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Pub Date 2 Aug 2022 | Archive Date 31 Jul 2022
Private investigators Lily Raynor and Felix Wilbraham tackle a puzzling miscarriage of justice and the curious case of a missing child, in the new, gripping World's End Bureau Victorian mystery.
London, August 1881. After a difficult few months, the World's End Investigation Bureau is thriving. Affairs, sex scandals, divorces . . . Lily Raynor is delighted to have so much work for herself and her capable assistant, Felix Wilbraham, but she can't help wishing for a case that doesn't involve the rich, over-indulged - and not terribly moral - upper classes. It's a wish she soon has cause to regret.
The Reverend James Jellicote arrives at the Bureau, seeking help on behalf of an elderly Jewish refugee who fled the pogroms in Russia. Yelisaveta and her young grandson arrived safely in London, only for the unspeakable to happen: eleven-year-old Yakov disappeared, without a trace. The case is impossible to refuse, but seems equally impossible to solve.
And troubles don't come alone. Soon, Lily and Felix have another impossible puzzle on their hands. Hop-picker Abel Spokewright was hanged last year for murder, but his brother Jared is determined to clear his name. If Abel didn't kill cheerful, pretty dairymaid Effie, though, who did? Only one thing's certain: the murderer isn't going to be happy about having the past raked up . . .
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Average rating from 5 members
This was such a good read. The writing was really well done with a storyline that was compelling and characters that were really well developed. The pacing and the tone of the book were perfectly done and the twists and unpredictabilty of this book meant I couldn't put it down.
I like this series. The MC and her employee are interesting and work two different cases in this book. I like the historical setting
Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for me eARC in exchange for an honest review.
This is a fresh take on the serial killer thriller genre. The main character is a Cuban American crime reporter. In addition to being a gripping mystery, the main character is a fully fleshed out character with interesting relationships. Top notch.
Thank you, NetGalley and Severn House, for the advanced copy of the book.
The Man in the Shadows is the third in the World's End Bureau series, following the previous novels, The Woman Who Spoke to Spirits and The Outcast Girls. The Man in the Shadows can be read as a stand-alone book. Although there is much to be gained by reading the previous novels beforehand.
I have read several books by Alys Clare, besides those mentioned above. She is a talented individual who can spin an intelligent and inventive yarn. Her historical mysteries are always fascinating and thoroughly entertaining. The research always seems first-rate, and nothing is left to chance, giving everything that needed authenticity.
Lily Raynor and Felix Wilbraham are not precisely in the same league as your Sherlock Holmes and Doctor John Watson. But they make a formidable duo when the need for crime-solving is called for.
Lily Raynor and Felix Wilbraham definitely have their work cut out for them this time. But solving the improbable is their forte, and they go about their business with the usual attention to detail.
The main characters are well-written, have plenty of depth, and are incredibly likeable, much in the same vein as Holmes and Watson.
The author vividly paints dark atmospheric gothic style settings superbly, literally bringing the Victorian period to life throughout the narrative.
It is not the first time the author has weaved two major plot-lines into her books, and they always work particularly well in crime thrillers like these.
The dark tapestry of events that unfold within the story lead to misdirection and twists a plenty.
The author's descriptive writing takes the reader on a picturesque stroll through the Victorian streets of London with all its sights and sounds and then into the more open expanses of Kent. The adventures of the two main protagonists are as per norm, varied and fascinating, especially when things conspire to take them out of their comfort zones. It all goes to make for an exciting, thrilling and enthralling adventure.
All the characters in the book are very believable, even if they are dated and out of our time period. You can easily imagine the cases being adjusted slightly to fit in with current timelines and places. Similar to how they manipulated the Sherlock TV series.
The climactic conclusion came as not an out and out shock but something that I was fully expecting, which is always good.
I enjoyed The Man in the Shadows by Alys Clare, and I hope to see more from the World's End Bureau series.
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