When junior barrister Daniel Pitt is summoned to the scene of a murder in the London district known as Mile End, he knows only that the victim is a senior barrister from the same firm. To Daniel’s relief, it is not his close friend Toby Kitteridge, but the question remains: What was this respected colleague doing in such a rough part of the city? The firm’s head, Marcus fford Croft, may know more than he admits, but fford Croft’s memory is not what it used to be, and his daughter, Miriam–Daniel’s friend and sometime sidekick–isn’t in the country to offer her usual help. And so Daniel and Kitteridge must investigate on their own, lest the police uncover something that may cast a suspicious light on the firm.
Their inquiries in Mile End lead them to a local brothel and to an opium den, but also–unexpectedly–to a wealthy shipbuilder crucial to Britain’s effort to build up its fleet, which may soon face the fearsome naval might of Germany. Daniel finds his path blocked by officials at every turn, his investigation so unwelcome that even his father, Special Branch head Thomas Pitt, receives a chilling warning from a powerful source. Suddenly, not just Daniel but his whole family–including his beloved mother, Charlotte–is in danger. Will Daniel’s devotion to justice be the undoing of his entire life, and endanger Britain’s defense at sea?
I haven’t read a single book of this series, or the long-running series about Daniel’s father, but I had no trouble stepping into it and feeling at home. I enjoyed the setting and the characters, although I felt just as confused as Daniel 99% of the time. Murder mysteries set in the past are difficult to do well, but this one was well-done, without an obvious villain. I did find the ending a tiny bit too easy, but it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the novel.
Anne Perry is a bestselling author. Death with a Double Edge is her newest novel.
(Galley courtesy of Ballantine Books in exchange for an honest review.)