The House of Smoke

Written by Sam Christer
Review by Alan Cassady-Bishop

It’s 1900 and Simeon Lynch is sitting in a stinking cell in Newgate prison, awaiting his execution for murder. Rightly so, as Lynch is a brutal assassin trained by the most ruthless criminal organisation, headed by the Moriarty family. But when you await your execution, you have a lot of time to think about things. Like whom you’ve killed, why you are there… and who was it that killed the person you are in prison for killing? Abused and reviled by the prison authorities, the killer awaits an opportunity to escape and wreak bloody vengeance.

Excellently written and researched, this is a story of a man who is given time to consider his past and reconcile himself to the present and lack of future. It is also a whodunit as the reader slowly discovers the story of the man and why he’s in prison for killing the one person he would never harm. The plot is fast paced, the setting is clear and realistic and the characters believable. The solution and resolution? – It may be unlikely but it certainly isn’t impossible.