Author Toni Allen/ Reviewed by Felita Daniels / Pages 273 Pages
The story is set in London. If you like Inspector Morse, I think you will like this novel by Toni Allen also. There are some superficial similarities. Morse loves beer and music. Talbot drinks a lot of tea and likes art and antiques. But what most struck me was how both of these men dislike a wrong being covered up by politics or by what club one belongs to (academic or financial). Talbot believes in fairness.
He has some tragedy in his life that causes some around him to discount him. He becomes involved in a small altercation. A young man, Francis Hayward, wishes to visit a woman in a nursing home. That woman’s grandson, Peter Charteris, goes ballistic and wants Hayward jailed. Talbot realizes there has to be more going on. This smart detective gathers facts, lays a course, and tests his theories.
There were just enough characters to round out the motives and inter- connectedness of the mystery. I liked how the author let you know more and more about Hayward and Talbot as the story went along. Talbot is certain something is afoul around Hayward and the Charteris family. He has to unravel if Hayward’s claims of seeing Lilly on an astral visit are true. Or if just the proclamations of it are enough to put Hayward in danger. It’s always difficult to review a book, but mysteries especially because it is a challenge to describe if the puzzle is resolved well without giving away any important events. This novel picks up speed and the story is less about wondering if Hayward is crazy and more about folks with their own wicked agenda. I thought the ending of this work was especially strong and proved that Talbot is more than capable of catching those that do evil.