Sunday, June 12, 2016

John G. Brandon, A Scream in Soho

John G. Brandon, A Scream in Soho
British Library Crime Classics
ISBN 978-0-7123-5745-6
Also available as an ebook

Detective Inspector Patrick Aloysius McCarthy is handed the job of solving an apparent murder--with a disappearing body--which occurred in Soho Square.  McCarthy and a young constable both hear a scream--after midnight, and in the blackout conditions of wartime London.  McCarthy, born and raised and still living in Soho, knows the byways, the good, and the bad of the quarter, knowledge that he puts to good use.  However, he is ialmost immediately called away to investigate the theft of war plans (at the Foreign Office's HQ in Whitehall) from a locked safe in a locked room, with only about  30  minutes for the theft to have been accomplished.  (Now, how an unauthorized stranger managed to get into the building and remain unobserved even for that long is unexplained.) 
Coincidences abound (Surprise!  The murder and the theft are linked!), and McCarthy seems impervious to pain (and possible concussion), and a satisfactory time is had by all (and a satisfactory conclusion reached).  Not by any means a great--or even much above average--book, but not a chore to read either.  I'm not recommending that you seek it out, however.

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