Death on Blackheath

Written by Anne Perry
Review by Ann Northfield

Those readers who are already fans of Inspector Thomas Pitt will no doubt be delighted to remake his acquaintance in this, the twenty-ninth book in the series. It can be read as a standalone, as I did, but to fully appreciate the well-drawn and realistic characters it would only enhance the experience to have been through their back stories in the previous novels.

It is 1897, and Pitt is called to the mutilated body of a young woman, discovered in a gravel pit. The likelihood that she is a maid from an important household, that of Dudley Kynaston, government minister, warrants the attention of Special Branch. The investigation twists and turns in surprising directions. Kynaston knows more than he is telling, but are these secrets harmless or not? And how can you force a man of birth, fortune and power to reveal things he wishes to keep quiet?

The period detail is beautifully done, and realistic characters and tense action are woven seamlessly together to create a vividly clear picture of London at the time. Thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining. Fans of the series will be very content.