Black Out (Inspector Troy Series)

Black Out (Inspector Troy Series)

3.4 311
by John Lawton
     
 

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John Lawton’s debut novel—first published by Viking in 1995, and now being reissued by Grove Press—is a stunning, war-time thriller that cements his place among the greatest crime writers of our era. The first of the Inspector Troy novels, Black Out singularly captures the realities of wartime London, weaving them into a riveting drama that…  See more details below

Overview


John Lawton’s debut novel—first published by Viking in 1995, and now being reissued by Grove Press—is a stunning, war-time thriller that cements his place among the greatest crime writers of our era. The first of the Inspector Troy novels, Black Out singularly captures the realities of wartime London, weaving them into a riveting drama that encapsulates the uncertainty of Europe at the dawn of the postwar era.

London, 1944. While the Luftwaffe makes its final assault on the already battered British capital, Londoners rush through the streets, seeking underground shelter in the midst of the city’s black out. When the panic subsides, other things begin to surface along with London’s war-worn citizens. A severed arm is discovered by a group of children playing at an East End bomb site, and when Scotland Yard’s Dective Sergeant Frederick Troy arrives at the scene, it becomes apparent that the dismembered body is not the work of a V-1 rocket. After Troy manages to link the severed arm to the disappearance of a refugee scientist form Nazi Germany, America’s newest intelligence agency, the OSS, decides to get involved. The son of a titled Russian émigré, Troy is forced to leave the London he knows and enter a corrupt world of bloody consequences, stateless refugees, and mysterious women as he unearths a chain of secrets leading straight to the Allied high command.

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Editorial Reviews

Los Angeles Times
A kind of mix of police procedural and espionage thriller... The London of the Blitz...comes alive with...documentary fidelity.
The Washington Post
You finish this novel wanting more -- and, happily, more is available, in Old Flames. — Patrick Anderson
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Lawton's first novel, a conventional thriller set in London during the last months of WWII, concerns a Scotland Yard detective's entanglement with MI5 and the OSS as he tracks down the killer of scientists studying the Nazi atomic rocketry program. Sergeant Frederick Troy, a crack sleuth whose feelings about England are mixed for family reasons, is called to solve a murder with no more evidence than a severed arm dropped in front of a boy by a dog. The arm, it turns out, belonged to a refugee German scientist working for British intelligence. Some of the plot elements and turns here are overly familiar: characters who fake their own deaths; sexy women who turn out to be spies; the way everyone seems to be following everyone else; a conspiracy that goes right to the top. Curiously, certain other events are nearly inexplicable-such as when, after imprisoning a female suspect for three days and exposing her to a decaying corpse in order to break her will, Troy releases her, and the two fall in love. Many of Lawton's characters are men, often large, impressive and gruff, including a surly boss, a swearing forensics expert and a sharp young assistant, while his women tend to be wily, or standard types like the friendly whore named Ruby. And his prose, which rarely leaps and never soars, too often tends toward the corny (``the grotesque puppet that was death''; ``It's over. It was over years ago''). Nevertheless, blessed with a brisk pace, this novel is likely to keep readers turning pages, though they occasionally may pause to wonder why. (May).
Robert Harris
Wonderfully captures the atmosphere of wartime London...original and entertaining.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802145567
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
07/12/2011
Series:
Inspector Troy Series, #1
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
122,968
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

What People are saying about this

Robert Harris
Wonderfully captures the atmosphere of wartime London...original and entertaining.

Meet the Author

John Lawton has produced television documentaries in England for Channel 4 and PBS.

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