The River of Fire, Paperback
2.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


River Surveyor Tom Pascoe of the Marine Police finds the bodies of two men entombed in the crew cabin of a sunken lugger.

Suspicion falls on a third member of the crew seen fleeing the scene.

He had a known motive for murder. Against the background of a nation at war with Napoleon, Tom Pascoe finds his own life under threat as he digs deeper into the case.

He uncovers the existence of French agents whose task is to undermine England's ability to continue the war.

Tom's job is further complicated by the presence of a new member of the police crew with a shocking secret of his own...


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Historical mysteries
  • ISBN: 9780857380593



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The bodies of two young men are found on a sunken lugger in the Thames, and a third member of the crew is seen fleeing the scene. Did he commit the crime or is he running from someone else? Soon Tom Pascoe of the Marine Police is on the trail of two French agents out to cause mischief in London.A chance discovery at the local library, this historical crime fiction novel sounded like something I would enjoy. The premise and setting sounded intriguing, shame then that the execution leaves much to be desired. The evocation of turn-of-the-century London is vivid enough, and I particularly enjoyed revisiting some of my old hunting grounds around (what is now) the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, but the characterisation remains sketchy, unlikely coincidence is heaped on unlikely coincidence, there are several plot holes the size of barn doors, and I couldn't really warm to any of the major (or minor) characters. Added to that that the author's prose at times reminded me of the clumsy jottings of a teenager, and I won't be reading any of this author's books again.

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