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.
TEN NOVELS SET IN YORKSHIRE THAT GERALDINE HAS READ
The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
To Catch A Rabbit- Helen Cadbury
A Kestrel for a Knave – Barry Hines
Billy Liar – Keith Waterhouse
Jane Eyre- Charlotte Bronte
Gallows View – Peter Robinson
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall – Anne Bronte
Nicholas Nickleby- Dickens
Under World- Reginald Hill
The Amateur Historian Julian Cole
Detective Geraldine Steel is back in Class Murder – her tenth case!
With so many potential victims to choose from, there would be many deaths. He was spoiled for choice, really, but he was determined to take his time and select his targets carefully. Only by controlling his feelings could he maintain his success. He smiled to himself. If he was clever, he would never have to stop. And he was clever. He was very clever. Far too clever to be caught.
When two people are murdered, their only connection lies buried in the past. As police search for the elusive killer, another body is discovered. Pursuing her first investigation in York, and reunited with her former sergeant Ian Peterson, Geraldine Steel struggles to solve the baffling case. How can she expose the killer, and rescue her shattered reputation, when all the witnesses are being murdered?
A successful entrepreneur in the mushroom industry, Jaakko Kaunismaa is a man in his prime. At just 37 years of age, he is shocked when his doctor tells him that he’s dying. What is more, the cause is discovered to be prolonged exposure to toxins; in other words, someone has slowly but surely been poisoning him. Determined to find out who wants him dead, Jaakko embarks on a suspenseful rollercoaster journey full of unusual characters, bizarre situations and unexpected twists.
Darkly comic, The Man Who Died is a cracking one sitting read that will have you falling over yourself to decide what emotion you want to feel next…..
After a messy divorce, attractive young mother Sonia is struggling to provide for herself and keep custody of her son. With her back to the wall, she resorts to smuggling cocaine into Iceland, and finds herself caught up in a ruthless criminal world. As she desperately looks for a way out of trouble, she must pit her wits against her nemesis, Bragi, a customs officer, whose years of experience frustrate her new and evermore daring strategies. Things become even more complicated when Sonia embarks on a relationship with a woman, Agla. Once a high-level bank executive, Agla is currently being prosecuted in the aftermath of the Icelandic financial crash.
I could explain all the following with many, many words, but as I discovered as I devoured Snare, sometimes, less is more, let’s leave it at this……
Slick. Pacy. Emotional. “Unputdownable” Would You Like To Know More?
Icelandic crime-writer Lilja Sigurdardottir was born in the town of Akranes in 1972 and raised in Mexico, Sweden, Spain and Iceland. An award-winning playwright, Lilja has written four crime novels, with Snare, the first in a new series, hitting bestseller lists worldwide. The film rights have been bought by Palomar Pictures in California. Lilja has a background in education and has worked in evaluation and quality control for preschools in recent years. She lives in Reykjavik with her partner.