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

The Washington Post
You finish this novel wanting more -- and, happily, more is available, in Old Flames. — Patrick Anderson
Los Angeles Times
A kind of mix of police procedural and espionage thriller... The London of the Blitz...comes alive with...documentary fidelity.
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:
286,424
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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Black Out 3.4 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 311 reviews.
luvmynookJG More than 1 year ago
This is the first and last Inspector Troy book I will read. After just a couple chapters, I found I did not even like the main character. He's always getting beat up and always being pulled into bed by women. Dumb. One section detailing his sexual adventure came very close to being plain old porn. Lawton's decision to use the ugliest word there is for a woman's anatomical part was really over the top and his details really don't belong in a mystery. Even with the summary provided by Tosca at the end did not explain the round about story he has written. If there was a way to give no stars, that's what I would do. I deeply regret buying and reading this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a hot mess. The author didn't make the choice of what type of hero the main character would be before he wrote the book. The character bounces back and forth between a James Bond womanizer, and a pathetic underdog. It was lame and the first two chapter are a chore to get through. Someone actually compared this written fecal matter to great works of literature.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the story. Didn't care much for the writing, which was mediocre most of the time, and meandered. The amount of sex and language in the last part of the book made it feel like the author was stretching to lengthen the book. Overall, though, the story was intriguing enough that I will be reading the next book, in hopes that the writing improves with practice.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked this ,alreadyhad&read in book form, and look forward to others. Feel author is in league with Agatha Christie and Martha Grimes, both of whose work I have high regard for. Although we know Ms. C is no longer with us and so no books forthcoming, rereading is something I do and enjoy. As for Ms. Grimes, I await each Richard Jury book with great anticipation. This author's style is a good solid one, &I would recommend his product.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am suprised to see the negativity on this book. I've really enjoyed it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Edge of the seat thriller set during WW II.  Very original plot that is well written.  Will certainly read more  Inspector Troy novels.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What can I say, other than I am glad this was a free friday book! The mystery was predictable, and the characters cliche. I found it very annoying that the main character, whi was supposed to be a brilliant detective, spent most of his time sleeping with the women he should have been investigating and getting beat up, because he was never quite aware if his surrondings. The sex scences also became increasingly graphic and slightly pornographic. All and all this book read like dime store pulp fiction attempting to pass itself off as a novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Overall I enjoyed reading this; I don't often read murder mysteries but I like WWII history, so I tried it. Positive: WWII London setting, British expressions, police characters developed reasonably well, plot had twists Negative: Main character quite cynical, lots of detailed descriptions of gory murder scenes, lots of ridiculous sex (clearly written by a man, because the women are almost all nymphos who drag him into bed every chance they get without any effort from him, and it's almost all juvenile in description and unrelated to the plot); lots of foul language; really weak and lame ending Overall I'm glad I read it, but it wasn't really an uplifting book and I'm certain I won't read it again, or other Inspector Troy novels for that matter.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
boring!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wasted too much time on this book to write anymore.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
a few sex scenes in the middle apparently to keep your interest, but totally out of character with the book. Plux too many "British" figures of speech that could not be deciphered.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It did not pass my 100 page test. If it doesn't keep my interest within the first 100 pages, it's gone!! At page 82 I thought, "Why continue?" I was torturing myself! Goodbye, Mr. Troy. Let's see...where is that delete button....
Anonymous 11 months ago
All the elements were developed enough without being overdone. The character Tosca was a contrasting relief to the general tone. The British words contributed to the setting and atmosphere of the story, but footnotes about their meaning would be nice.
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So bad. I can't begin to explain. I was looking for some trashy fiction to read over the holidays, but this is just so bad. I wish I hadn't started it, let alone finish it. Ugh.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The writing was laborious and so overly dramatic that it made reading very tedious.  The characters were more like caricatures.  The story line wasn't over original, or interesting, or even believable.  I am very glad I only pain $2 for this ebook.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the idea behind this book more than I liked the actual book. It was pretty dragged out and it jumped around quite a bit. There were a lot of under-developed secondary characters that were hard to keep straight. The actual main character was kind of hard to like, especially as the story progressed. The author also seemed to build up his nerve with each of his main character's not-so-romantic encounters with the opposite sex, starting with scenes that faded away to the next morning in the beginning and working toward badly written erotica nearer to the end. Over all, I found this book to be inconsistent and fairly poorly executed. It did have a lot of well-written scenes mixed in, and I can see how some might enjoy the book, but I really wish the author had stuck with the mystery/thriller genre he started with. It is, as I said, a great concept. The author could have done so much more with it.
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