The Killing Site
The Killing Site is the ninth in Peacock’s Victorian-era Liberty Lane series. In 1847, Liberty is happily married to Robert Carmichael, mother to Harry and Helena, and mostly retired as a private detective. When Liberty is lured away from a dinner party and kidnapped, chapters alternate with her first-person narration as she tries to figure out where she is being held, and third-person narration from Robert, and Liberty’s friends Amos Legge and Tabby, as Robert acts on the kidnappers’ instructions, and Amos and Tabby conduct their own investigation.
I’ve read a few in the series and not consistently, but that doesn’t matter. I devoured this in one sitting because both characters and plot are gripping. Liberty has no active cases, so why was she targeted? What is Robert retrieving that is so valuable to the kidnappers? Peacock throws in a few red herrings as she takes the reader to the high-stakes denouement. Those red herrings do take focus away from the villains, whose motives are not revealed until the very end, so they are less compelling characters. Liberty, Amos, Tabby, and Robert, to a lesser extent, are the standouts of the story, and there’s even a cameo by Benjamin Disraeli. Peacock gets the atmosphere of London in 1847 just right; the streets, the clothes, the class relationships are all pitch perfect. I’ve now got to fill in my gaps in the series and eagerly await the tenth.