When a bomb devastates the office of London's most unusual police unit and claims the life of its oldest detective, Arthur Bryant, his surviving partner John May searches for clues to the bomber's identity. His search takes him back to the day the detectives first met as young men in 1940.
In Blitz-ravaged London, a beautiful dancer rehearsing for a sexy, sinister production of 'Orpheus In The Underworld' is found without her feet. Bryant & May's investigation plunges them into a bizarre gothic mystery, where a faceless man stalks terrified actors and death strikes in darkness. Tracking their quarry through the blackout, searching for a murderer who'll stop at nothing to be free of a nightmare, the duo unwittingly follow the same path Orpheus took when leading Euridyce from the shadows of Hell.
Back in the present day, John May starts to wonder if their oldest adversary might be the killer who took his partner's life. He must work alone to solve a puzzle that began over half a century earlier...
In a war-shaken city of myths, rumours and fear, Bryant & May discover that a house is not always a home, nothing is as it appears, the most cunning criminals hide in plain sight, and the devil has all the best tunes. Dark drama and black comedy combine as Bryant & May take centre stage in their first great case.
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A bizarre dark comedy of an investigation... bawdy, unpredictable and at times hilarious, with a cast of wonderful grotesques - Guardian
As filled with tricks and sleights of hand as a magician's sleeve... witty, charismatic, occasionally touching and with a genuine power to thrill -
Fowler shocks and frightens while making us laugh out loud. An original, erudite and exciting whodunnit - Good Book Guide
An evocatively reverential tribute to the genre...the clash of temperaments between Bryant and May makes them great detectives - Time Out
The writing is as ever fluid and pacey, the characterisation deft and the plot fresh and ingenious - Independent on Sunday
Atmospheric, hugely beguiling and as filled with tricks and sleights of hand as a magician's sleeve... this is English gothic at its eccentric best; a combination of Ealing comedy and grand opera: witty, charismatic, occasionally touching and with a genuine power to thrill -
A writer of extraordinary imagination - Sunday Express
The striking gothic setting of London under fire proves fruitful ground for a bizarre dark comedy of an investigation... bawdy, unpredictable and at times hilarious, with a cast of wonderful grotesques - Guardian
Fowler belongs with the mythographers of London: Iain Sinclair, Peter Ackroyd - New Statesman
Its combination of Grand Guignol and place setting does command attention - Metro London
Christopher Fowler is co-founder and co-creative director of Creative Partnership. He also writes novels, screenplays and short story collections, and has had over twenty books published to date. His story The Master Builder was a CBS movie starring Tippi Hendren. Another, Left Hand Drive, won Best British Short Film in 1993. Others have been published in Time Out, The Big Issue, the Independent On Sunday and the Mail On Sunday. He was the 1998 recipient of the BFS Best Short Story Of The Year for Wageslaves. His first novel, the bestseller Roofworld, has been developed as a film for producer Marc Samuelson. Subsequent novels include Darkest Day, Spanky, Psychoville (film rights owned by Jude Law and Sadie Frost), Soho Black, Calabash and the two Bryant & May mysteries, Full Dark House and The Water Room.