Sunday, June 17, 2018

Review: The Murder Pit by Mick Finlay

The Murder Pit (An Arrowood Mystery)
London 1896 - Barnett and Arrowood are detectives whom we first met the year before in Arrowood. In this installment, they are searching for a missing bride

But Arrowood and Barnett are no ordinary detectives - they are literally a second rate version of Holmes and Watson, whom Arrowood absolutely and most vocally, despises. These two take on the cases that Holmes won't touch (those of the common folk), but for them there is no glorious write up when the cases are solved, no public acclaim, no feting from royalty, and he is tired of Holmes getting the credit for solving his cases.

Arrowood is the anti-hero - the poor mans' Holmes - his counternance is not lean and agile, but overweight and lumpy.  He is at times thoroughly unlikeable and yet likeable, and sees himself as a "real" detective, rather than the show-pony Holmes. But you can't help feeling that anyone would appear second rate when Holmes is in his ascendancy, and Holmes does cast a very long shadow.  The character of Arrowood is, I guess, more human - he fits is with the gritty London backdrop; he is a fallible, obnoxious, working class man.

Having said that, our narrator Barnett (the trusty side-kick ala Watson), takes us through the case at hand - the search for the missing bride, Bridie, who is estranged from her parents - how hard can it be, surely back home in time for tea. However, just when you think there is resolution the story takes off again. Constant plot twists and turns keep you guessing to the end.

Note: that whilst this is fiction, it does paint a disturbing account of the treatment of those society had labelled "idiot", "imbecile" and "lunatic".

Extra Note: we could be seeing the likes of Arrowood and Barnett some time soon .... with a TV adaptation

read more here 
@ The Lit Bitch (review of Arrowood)
@ CRA (diary of a debut author)

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