In the frigid winter of 1891, with the nation still reeling from the Barings bank crisis, Inspector Philemon Raft returns from an involuntary sabbatical and is tasked with solving the kidnapping of highly placed peer Alice Dewberry. Thrust into a sordid underworld where the upper classes indulge in disreputable overseas investments designed to fatten their pocketbooks, Raft finds himself at loose ends without his companion, Constable Freddie Crook. Far from offering their help, members of upper classes use every asset at their disposal to keep Raft from discovering the truth about hapless kidnap victim Alice Dewberry - who may not even exist.
Soon Raft discovers that his old nemesis, the workhouse master John Gallant, has returned to London. Gallant doesn't say what he wants - but he knows enough to ruin Raft's career and even his life. Raft tries to solve the case with his usual strange insight, but there are other, darker forces at work. This is a frightened London: the London of Whitechapel; of Jack the Ripper; the London of poverty, dirt, and despair, where a right turn down the wrong alley could earn Raft a swift trip to the morgue.
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Masterpiece Mystery meets M/M romance.
I loved the character of Constable Cholmendely... He was like a St Bernard desperately waiting for a pat on the head. The interplay and relationship between him and inspector Raft is fantastic. This has to be one of the most intricate plots of a m/m romance I've ever read... this was all about the story and the characters. The sex scenes are great - but they are secondary to the author's dedication to providing a rich mystery filled with amazing characters. The romantic plot of this book also truly captures you.
If you've always wished that Sherlock would just shut up and kiss Watson... you will LOVE this book. All the excitement and intricacy of a Holmes mystery and the edgier kind of Jekyll and Hyde Victorian tension are palpable. Cook does a super job keeping her m/m characters in very real concern for the danger of their romantic attractions. Through this series of books (which can all be read independently) the world she creates is palpable. Her research really shows and he flair for character specific dialogue is great.
It's very impressive. He brings depth and specificity to a huge range of characters. This book is really Dickensian in it's sweep - and he is pretty remarkable. It totally brought the book alive.
Inspector Raft and the Confounding Constable
If you like Cumberbatch's Sherlock and you're a fan of m/m fiction with historical flair... you'll love it.