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The Black Hand by Will Thomas
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The Black Hand (2008)

by Will Thomas

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Once again a masterful tale of mystery from Victorian times. Good strong characters and believable situations with the right kind of out comes. If you like mysteries you should rear this series from the start, you won't be disappointed. ( )
  Philip100 | Aug 26, 2016 |
This book was okay. Not as good as the books which preceded it in the series. The story starts off well with Barker and Llewelyn investigating three murders which are unique in the way they were carried out but the story then starts to come apart a bit. Nothing much happens for a good portion of the tale, with meetings between the characters and general build up to an ending which falls flat. I like the Barker & Llewelyn novels and wanted to like this book more than I did, but it feels the author ran out of ideas near the start and padded out the story until there was sufficient pages to call it a novel. Most of the way things were solved and explained seemed very convenient for the main characters to have solved. There's even a "getting out of London" passage that just didn't need to be in the novel at all. It gives me the feeling it was just to introduce Barkers "secret" lady friend and deepen the mystery surrounding him more. Maybe she appears in the next installment.

I'll continue to read this series. They are a quick read. But I'm really hoping this isn't a sign that the ideas have run dry and that the series is being used as a way of cadging a quick buck. ( )
  Arkrayder | Apr 17, 2016 |
Interesting installment of the Barker/Llewelyn private investigator series. This one dealt with the Mafia in Victorian London, something I never considered before. Looking forward to the next book. ( )
  Oodles | Feb 16, 2016 |
The fifth in the series sees Barker and Llewellyn take on the Mafia, with help from socialist dockworkers, fisherman and the Camorra. Again, the identity of the villain was obvious, but the details and the unveiling of more of Barker's history kept me reading and enjoying this one. ( )
  nmele | Apr 6, 2013 |
Another great installment in the Barker/Llwelyn series. Atleast as good as its predecessors. Nineteenth century London is as good as it gets for detective fiction. ( )
  horacewimsey | Apr 10, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
Since most mysteries set in Victorian England tend to follow romantic traditions, the picturesquely gritty novels of Will Thomas serve as a bracing alternative.
added by y2pk | editNew York Times, Marilyn Stasio (Jul 27, 2008)
 
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I'm not interested in the status quo; I want to overthrow it.

—Machiavelli
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I stepped across the sill of the conservatory, glass crunching under the heels of my boots, and steadied my Webley pistol with bost hands, reluctant to step inside. (Prologue)
I was coming down the stairs on the morning of the twenty-second of August 1885, when there came a knock upon Cyrus Barker's front door. (Chapter 1)
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Investigating a string of murders linked to the Italian mafia, Victorian enquiry agent Cyrus Barker and his apprentice, Thomas Llewelyn, assemble a ragtag band of helpers and become suspicious when the government refuses assistance.

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