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Bryant & May and the Burning Man

A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery by Christopher Fowler

Bryant & May and the Burning Man by Christopher Fowler

Review: Bryant & May and the Burning Man by Christopher Fowler is Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery featuring aging detectives, Arthur Bryant and John May of the PCU in London. It is nearing the end of October and the city of London is under siege by irate protestors enraged by the financial fraudulences and deceits in the banking world. Someone actually throws a firebomb at one bank killing a young homeless man sleeping under cardboard boxes in its doorway, in Bryant & May and the Burning Man, the twelfth mystery in this series by Christopher Fowler.

The Peculiar Crimes Unit under Arthur Bryant and John May has very little in modern technology, nothing like the kind of resources that would make it easier for them to contest the battle now facing them. Bryant thinks the young man's death was not an accident, but murder. He and his team are further convinced of this when more murdered bodies are found. It will be harder — almost impossible to identify a killer with most people wearing costumes and masks for the upcoming Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night holidays. The killings are executed in ways reminiscent to maltreatments so common in ancient times. Each death is different but all seem to revert back to the burning man. The problem facing the PCU is, are the murders connected to the uprising of violence in the city because of the banks and wealthy people who support the banks, or is one person out to kill anyone anywhere for personal reasons. Naturally PCU gets no help from other police units. They view the PCU as a "ragtag bunch of misfits" with two eccentric old men as their leaders. They have to fight the inside politics of the London police departments to get their investigations done. But mostly they rely on their brains and an unwavering determination to solve their cases.

Bryant & May and the Burning Man is not just a compelling mystery involving the Peculiar Crimes Unit and their eighty-something-year-old leader, Arthur Bryant, and his slightly younger partner John May, it is a fascinating history lesson of London as told by Bryant as he instructs nine-year-old Augustine Cornwell in the ways of the city. There are many interesting and quirky characters in the PCU's team that interact with each other brilliantly. With Bryant and May and the PCU, peculiarity comes naturally! With its strong plotline, this is a solid, very exciting book in this long-running series that just gets better with each new entry.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Bryant & May and the Burning Man.

Acknowledgment: Random House provided a copy of Bryant & May and the Burning Man for this review.

Review Copyright © 2016 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved

Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …

Mystery Book Review: Bryant & May: Strange Tide by Christopher FowlerBryant & May: Strange Tide
Bantam (Hardcover), December 2016
ISBN-13: 9781101887035; ISBN-10: 1101887036

Location(s) referenced in Bryant & May and the Burning Man: London

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Bryant & May and the Burning Man by Christopher Fowler

Bryant & May and the Burning Man by A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery

Publisher: Bantam
Format: Hardcover
ISBN-13: 978-0-345-54768-2
Publication Date:
List Price: $26.00

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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews

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