Gods of Gold by Chris Nickson. KINDLE EDITION
- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 982 KB
- Print Length: 224 pages
- Publisher: Severn House Digital; First World Publication edition (1 December 2014)
- Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00OERTV1O
- Introducing Detective Inspector Tom Harper in a brand-new historical mystery series.
- 5 STARS
A great read, and I was quickly drawn in to this story, the first in the Detective Inspector Tom Harper series set in Leeds during the gas strike of 1890.
Despite the disruptions of the gas strike, Tom Harper is concerned by the disappearance of Martha, the beautiful little child of Col and Betty Parkinson, Betty is in jail so Col, a ne'er do well, tells people he'd sent Martha to stay with an aunt for a while because he couldn't care for her. Tom does not believe him and determines to find Martha. Because Martha is so young, people are more willing than usual to talk to him yet nobody seems to know anything. Then a man is murdered, he was one of many men brought in to replace the gas workers, Toms' superiors tell him he should be spending his time on that, rather than looking for Martha, but he doesn't give up on her. He eventually uncovers many fragile threads of information that lead to shocking discoveries.
It's an absorbing story with some really good characters, Tom himself was raised to a life of poverty and back breaking work but manages to break free of it by joining the police force, doing well and rising in the ranks. He comes across as a good sort, willing to give others a chance and, because of his own background he well understands that people do what they have to in order to survive. His sergeant is an interesting character too, Billy Reed, an ex military man who still suffered the effects of the war horrors he'd witnessed, Reed likes to drink, which sometimes leads to aggressive behaviour, he dislikes himself for it. I was drawn to him because it seems like he is doing his best to overcome his troubles. Then there is Annabelle, Toms' fiancée. What a woman she is, a widow with her own business she is a strong independent type and she is fascinating, I'm sure that in the future she will be stealing the limelight from Tom. All the characters in this book are so well described that it's easy to picture them.
For me, another draw is the historical aspect, the story is set during the time of the second industrial revolution, a time when industrialists were getting richer yet the poor remained poor. Chris Nickson weaves a great deal of social history into this book yet never resorts to using boring information dumps.
Be sure to read the epigraph "A New Nursery Rhyme" written by Tom Maguire, a man who died too young, aged 29.