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Behind Closed Doors by Brian L. Porter
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Behind Closed Doors

by Brian L. Porter

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Behind Closed Doors – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat and Think With Your Taste Buds - Desserts

“ ‘Men have met their maker as a result of the greed and avarice of those who would turn the people of this fair city into denizens of the underground world. Be warned that their deaths will be avenged.’ It’s true that a number of workers were killed in accidents, mostly cave-in, during the excavations of the original, and some of the newer tunnels. This could be valid threats from someone with revenge in mind against the company, perhaps a friend or relative of one of the dead men. ‘God will not allow this fiendish contraption, this infernal machine of the devil to prosper. We will bring about its ruination and force the Metropolitan Railway to cease its operations forthwith, in the name of The Almighty.’”

These are excerpts from letters written to the owners, demanding that the operation of the Metropolitan Railway be stopped. They were brought to the attention of Inspector Albert (Bert) Norris and his sergeant Dylan Hillman as they are being told by their Superintendent about a murder that has taken place in the underground railway owned by The Metropolitan Railway Company. The murder takes place on the same night that Jack the Ripper made one of his own famous Whitechapel kills. Could they be related? Bert’s superior says no. He is being told, from those high up, that this is an entirely separate act that must be handled as quietly as possible to prevent bad publicity from damaging the railway company. But as other murders occur, again on the same days of the Ripper murders, it becomes quite difficult to keep these events quiet.

Author Brian L. Porter has always kept me in the dark with the endings of his books, but in Behind Closed Doors, I had him. I determined who the murderer was and had the courts ready to slip the noose around their neck by the middle of the book. Well…he did it to me again. I wasn’t totally wrong but I was nowhere near the real truth that would convict the real murder. I’m afraid my case would have been thrown out of the courts. So, the master of deception has tricked me again.

As always, Porter’s characters are believable and so real. His descriptions of the scenes place you in the middle of the action. One thing I can say with enthusiasm is this, ‘Watch out Sherlock and Watson…Norris and Hillman are on the case.’ And boy are they good!

Review Stir, Laugh, Repeat at Amazon.com Stir, Laugh, Repeat ( )
  marthacheves | Nov 22, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0615529240, Paperback)

Autumn, 1888. The population of London is transfixed and horrified by
the atrocious and horrific murder spree being conducted by Jack the
Ripper. The newspapers are full of the details of the mutilations
perpetrated by the killer and the apparent inability of the police to
apprehend the unknown assailant. As Metropolitan Police Commissioner,
Sir Charles Warren throws the bulk of his investigative resources into
the search for The Ripper, and the tabloid press scream of the crimes in
banner headlines on a daily basis; on the new, ultra modern Underground
Railway that has revolutionized travel around the great metropolis for
the working man, another, less well publicized killer is at large.

Tucked away on the inner pages of the daily press, hardly enough to
raise an eyebrow among discerning readers, one may have found a few,
short articles which told of the strange and also, so far unsolved
murders which are taking place on board the carriages of the new-fangled
and much heralded transport system. Each murder takes place the day
after one of the ripper killings, as the murderer appears to be taking
advantage of the lack of police resources to tackle not one, but two,
major investigations simultaneously.

Inspector Albert Norris is charged with bringing the railway killer to
justice, but, as with case of Jack the Ripper, clues are few, the
killer's motive unclear, and he is forced to carry out his
investigations 'quietly and without causing a public panic' as the
authorities seek to prevent a loss of confidence in the safety of the
underground railway system. The press are being told even less, hence
the minimal coverage, and Norris can count on little help from above as
he attempts to solve the inexplicable series of murders.

Every paperback copy of Behind Closed Doors sold carries a donation of $1 from the publisher to The Mayflower Animal Sanctuary in Yorkshire, UK.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:45 -0400)

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