Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Gallows Court

Gallows Court is a new standalone mystery by Martin Edwards. Due out 17th Sept 2018 from Poison Pen Press, it's 368 pages and will be available in paperback format. Other editions are available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. Mr. Edwards will be known to most classic mystery fans as a consultant for the British Library Crime Classics series as well as for his authorship of the modern Lake District series published by Poisoned Pen Press.

Despite being set in the interwar London period of classic mysteries, this book had a lot more of a noir thriller vibe for me than a classic golden age 'Christie' feel.  The bad guys are archetypal, the plot devices rather devious.  It was unclear for much of the book whether the female lead character, Rachel, is evil, manipulative, devious, crazy or a combination of the above. The male protagonist, and indeed the supporting characters are well written and follow their internal motivations.  The dialogue is very well written and never clunky or distracting.

This is an intricate and very well plotted mystery which follows the rules of detective fiction for readers who enjoy racing against the fictional detective. The pacing is incredibly finely tuned and there are twists and turns aplenty. This is a solidly well written entertaining book from a gifted author.  It's not a classic golden age country house mystery, but it's a perfect satisfying (and edgy) read nonetheless.

It's definitely good enough for a reread, which is my benchmark for buying my own copy (and I intend to do so).

Five stars

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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