Beware This Boy
Beware This Boy is the second installment in the Detective Inspector Tom Tyler series from acclaimed author Maureen Jennings, internationally known for her highly successful Detective Murdoch series. DI Tyler is seconded from his rural idyll of Whitchurch, Shropshire to inner-city Birmingham to investigate a fatal explosion at a munitions factory in the early days of World War II. Accident or espionage, revenge or patriotic duty, are the questions which Tyler must confront as he sifts through the still smoldering rubble.
This series, in typical Jennings style, is well researched and lively with vivid characters and an intriguing plot. DI Tyler, introduced to readers in Jennings’ first book of the series, Season of Darkness, is an amiable character but with enough complexity and ‘life story’ complications to make him interesting.
Jennings dedicates the book to her mother ‘who endured it all’ and ‘to all those Brummies who went through the war with courage and steadfastness’, and this blacked-out, bombed-out yet defiant atmosphere is smartly captured by her in this novel. Heavy blankets of fog literally and metaphorically surround the city, obscuring both the people and their intentions while protecting the city from further assault by the German bombers and, ultimately, those who would seek to help that cause.
If Jennings hopes for Detective Inspector Tyler the same success she has had for Detective Murdoch, we can expect a few more tantalising reads from this prolific author.