Publisher: Bantam Books Trade Paperbacks.
Genre: Victorian England, Mystery, Detective Novel.
Rating: 3 to 4 stars, good to very good.
Other books in this series:
Book 1, Murder At Mansfield Park
Book 3, A Fatal Likeness
London, England, early winter, 1850.
Charles Maddox hunts criminals. He had been a police officer, but was ousted after a misconduct. Maddox is a young man in his mid twenties. He shares a rented room with his cat Thunder. Early in the book, the decaying remains of babies are found. Maddox is summoned to the crime scene by Inspector Field.
The Solitary House is a murder mystery, detective story. with a sinister Victorian era atmosphere.
Reviews have been mixed on The Solitary House. Sometimes this is the case with books, the reaction is either one extreme or the other. I enjoyed reading The Solitary House, not a 5 star enjoy, but somewhere between 3 and 4 stars. It is a story that held my interest, 368 pages seemed to breeze by.
In the first chapter, Lynn Shepherd describes her main character, Charles Maddox, as a "young man," "single," "careless in appearance," "a sentimental young man," and "more than anything else a curious one." From his actions, he loves his cat. It is refreshing to have a character described in unique ways, particular ways, which bring into focus the man, and not necessarily his physical attributes, but what lay underneath.
The areas of London described are dirty, polluted, poor, disease and pestilent filled, and death creeps in easily. The Solitary House is not a story where people have tea in cheerful wall-papered parlors and share gossip about the neighbors, but it is a story where the atmosphere of the environment equals the dirty deeds that have been done.
Maddox unravels the secrets of the men who have committed horrific crimes on the innocent. I was revolted by their devious acts of crime.
Over-all, The Solitary House is an enticing read.