It is March 1920. May Keaps, the Poplar Coroner’s Officer, has never failed to provide a jury with sufficient evidence to arrive at a just verdict.
The poverty, drunken fights between visiting sailors, drug trafficking, and criminal gangs, haunting the shadows of the busiest docks in the world, mean that the Coroner sees more than its fair share of sudden and unnatural deaths.
May relishes the responsibility placed upon her but there are many who believe it’s an unsuitable job for a woman. Even May begins to wonder if that is the case when the discovery of a young man’s body, in a Limehouse alley, plunges her into an underworld of opium dens, gambling, turf wars, protection rackets and murder.
As her investigations draw her into danger, it becomes increasingly clear that whoever is responsible intends to avoid the hangman’s noose by arranging to have May laid out on one of her own mortuary slabs.
In which our feisty heroine takes on chinese gangs, deals with drugs and more….
Hot on the heels of introductory novella The Last Post, comes Foul Trade the first of the May Keaps series.
It’s a highly atmospheric novel that uses all of your senses to envelope you in the richness and diversity of London in the ’20s, and the attitudes of the day. Attitudes which are often unacceptable to May, who will not let anyone talk down to her.
There is a lot going on in the book to keep you keen to turn pages with plenty interesting characters along the way. It can be confusing at times to keep track, but that ensures that Foul Trade is action packed and thoroughly engrossing.
It’s another recommended book from me that you won’t want to put down.