Rage of the Assassin (Bow Street Rivals)

Written by Edward Marston
Review by Tom Williams

This is the latest in Marston’s Bow Street Rivals series. It reads well as a stand-alone novel even if you have not seen any of the others. The titular Rivals are twin brothers, Peter and Paul Skillen, who operate as private detectives, regularly showing up the Bow Street Runners as intellectually under-endowed thugs. The plot follows the traditional story arc of the modern mystery tale. There is a murder. There are some red herrings. The murderer is eventually revealed, and I didn’t see the twist coming. There are some nicely drawn minor characters, but all the people are essentially modern creations and there is little attempt to capture the nuances of social behaviour in the Regency. There are, however, lots of convincing period details in the background and people who enjoy their detective fiction with a historical edge will enjoy this. It is well-written and fun and will pass a couple of days in lockdown as pleasantly as anything else.