Shadow of the Knife is a very well written dark and atmospheric historical mystery by Richard Ayre. Released 12th Oct 2021 by Burning Chair, it's 304 pages and is available in paperback and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. For Kindle Unlimited subscribers, this book is currently included in the KU subscription library to borrow and read for free.
The story drew me in and kept me engaged from the first few pages. I'm still impressed over the attention to historical detail and the realistic descriptions, especially those that existed in the East End of London at the time. The author provides a hard look at the way the unfortunate locals lived (and died, early and too often to violence and disease). There are scenes of graphic violence described unflinchingly in the book, which I found myself skimming over. It's well written and very well researched.
Fans of Victorian English mysteries (not cozies) will find a lot to appeal, and the writing is very well rendered and engaging. Spelling and vernacular are British English, but that shouldn't pose any problems to American readers. The author has helpfully included a short glossary of period colloquialisms for reference.
Four stars. Very well done.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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