Twenty-One Days

Written by Anne Perry
Review by Lucille Cormier

Twenty-One Days is the first of Anne Perry’s new crime series. Fans of her Thomas and Charlotte Pitt stories will recognize the protagonist as their son, Daniel, now a newly minted London barrister. His first big case is the defense of a nasty tempered reprobate accused of murdering his wife.

The defense is not a success. With a history of brutality and no other credible suspects, Daniel’s client is quickly convicted. But Daniel doubts his guilt enough to file an appeal. He is given 21 days to clear his client. As his hunt for the real killer progresses he finds an ally in his employer’s daughter, Miriam, a Cambridge-trained scholar with her own laboratory and state-of-the-art x-ray equipment. Her skills and knowledge contribute greatly to Daniel’s investigation, and they become a formidable team. However, their pursuit generates a serious moral dilemma for Daniel as he learns that his client is set to publish a compendium of salacious gossip that would smear old family friends, his father, and the national security service he leads. Should Daniel sit back and let the scoundrel hang or should he continue his attempt to clear him. The plot thickens!

This is a thoroughly enjoyable, complex story with an appropriate and satisfying conclusion. It also has a wonderful freshness about it: the main characters are young, it is a new century, science is coming into its own, and romance is in the air. Thus, even though the plot revolves around violent death, we get the sense that life, overall, is still good. My only complaint is that the characters tend to be one-dimensional; they are either all good or all bad. But, no matter, Twenty-One Days is still without a doubt, a top-notch story. Go for it!