Book reviews from The Free Lance-Star.
Patient reader will be richly rewarded
Well-written police procedural
By Chelyen Davis
The Free Lance-Star
IN 1811 London, two families have been brutally murdered in Wapping, near the London Dock. The neighborhood is hysterical, the regular police are near-useless, and so Charles Horton, an officer in the new Thames River Police Office, takes it upon himself to track down a killer.
In 1564 Plymouth, a young Billy Ablass becomes a sailor to make some money for himself and his wife. He soon finds himself on one of the first slaving ships, transporting Africans to the Americas. But a few hours marooned on a remote Florida island change Billy’s life forever.
In “The English Monster,” by Lloyd Shepherd, the two times are connected by a crime, and the book flips back and forth between the two stories as it ever-so slowly draws out that connection. The book, Shepard’s first, is a police procedural, a seagoing adventure, and historical fiction all at once.
It’s slow to get moving, but patient readers will be rewarded with an unusual, vivid and well-written story.
Chelyen Davis is a reporter with The Free Lance–Star.
THE ENGLISH MONSTER
By Lloyd Shepherd
(Washington Square, $16, 432 pp.)
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