January 1916. Britain is on the brink of enforcing conscription. Eligible young men who have not yet signed up to fight are despised as 'conchies' and 'shirkers', subjected to hatred and verbal abuse.
Cyril Ablatt, leader of Shoreditch's group of conscientious objectors, makes a rousing speech at a meeting of the No-Conscription Fellowship, refusing to be 'an instrument of slaughter in a khaki uniform'.
When Cyril is brutally bludgeoned to death, Scotland Yard detectives Inspector Marmion and Sergeant Keedy are assigned to the case.
As the pair build up a portrait of Cyril, they unearth an intriguing private life behind the man's saintly facade.
It soon becomes clear there are plenty of suspicious characters with motives for the killing.
Meanwhile, public sympathy is lukewarm. Some people even claim that a conchie deserves to die if he won't fight for King and Country. And in the wake of the murder, three close friends of Ablatt fear that they may also be under threat.
Marmion and Keedy will have to work fast to find the killer before any more deaths occur ...
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 352 pages
- Publisher: Allison & Busby
- Publication Date: 28/10/2013
- Category: Historical mysteries
- ISBN: 9780749013349
- EPUB from £5.60
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Review by Familyhistorian
Mysteries and history, what more could one ask for? The Home Front History Series is set in London during WW1. Crime, particularly murder, continued even while men were being shipped out to fight. Inspector Marmion and Sergeant Keedy are called in to investigate the murder of a conscientious objector. It is 1916 and Britain has begun conscription. There is not much sympathy for the men who don’t want to fight because of belief or conscience. This sentiment complicates the investigation as do the secret attractions between some couples who need to keep their affairs secret.This was a promising first dip into a new series. The ongoing characters are interesting and it will be interesting to see how they develop as their story continues.