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The Unbelievers [NOOK Book]

Overview


A brooding, Victorian murder mystery set in the Scottish Highlands and featuring Inspector Allerdyce and Sergeant McGillivray Scotland’s richest man has been shot dead and dumped down a well. Was the Duke of Dornoch murdered by one of the miners whose wages he cut because of “market forces”? Was he killed in return for his part in clearing the Highlands of their people? Did a discarded lover take their final revenge? Inspector Allerdyce and Sergeant McGillivray VC must find out before the killer ...
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The Unbelievers

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Overview


A brooding, Victorian murder mystery set in the Scottish Highlands and featuring Inspector Allerdyce and Sergeant McGillivray Scotland’s richest man has been shot dead and dumped down a well. Was the Duke of Dornoch murdered by one of the miners whose wages he cut because of “market forces”? Was he killed in return for his part in clearing the Highlands of their people? Did a discarded lover take their final revenge? Inspector Allerdyce and Sergeant McGillivray VC must find out before the killer strikes again. But their search, from the material heights of Victorian society to its moral dregs, threatens to overturn everything Allerdyce believes and loves. In the tradition of Charles Finch and The Somnambulist, Alastair Sim has crafted a memorable, atmospheric novel that covers new ground in the world of Victorian mysteries.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Lovers of well-written historicals will welcome Sim's first novel featuring Insp. Archibald Allerdyce and Sgt. Hector McGillivray, set in Scotland in 1865. When the duke of Dornoch vanishes, Allerdyce gets on the case, though he'd much rather look into "the murders of ordinary men and women." After learning that the duke received a telegram on the date of his disappearance, the inspector discovers the nobleman's corpse in a well on his estate. Allerdyce finds himself under pressure to focus his efforts on a mine union leader, a rabble-rouser and admirer of Karl Marx, regarded as a threat by the establishment. Another murder presents Allerdyce with the prospect that the killer is someone close to him. Sim does a fine job in bringing the mean streets of Victorian Edinburgh to life. While experienced whodunit readers will guess the murderer's identity before the detective does, the absence of a pat resolution makes for a highly satisfying ending. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
"Victorian yet gritty, a debut that will intrigue fans of police procedurals and historical fiction alike." —Kirkus

“Lovers of well-written historicals will welcome Sim's first novel featuring Insp. Archibald Allerdyce and Sgt. Hector McGillivray, set in Scotland in 1865.… Sim does a fine job in bringing the mean streets of Victorian Edinburgh to life…. The absence of a pat resolution makes for a highly satisfying ending.” –Publishers Weekly

"Powerful and thought-provoking, this will appeal to readers who enjoy Ann Perry, Charles Finch, and other authors of Victorian mysteries." —Library Journal 

"This is a fabulous Victorian era police procedural that brings to life 1865 Edinburgh as well as the workings of the British bureaucratic aristocratic leadership of that period. The inspector and the sergeant are delightful leads... Alastair Sim provides a strong historical whodunit." —Genre Go Round Reviews

"Lovers of Victorian Gothic mysteries will have loads of fun with this one, quite different in tone from the norm, while lovers of literary fiction will admire the author’s ability to describe and bring the period to life, as he simultaneously conveys important sociological and religious issues.... The author’s brilliant imagery makes the setting and atmosphere come alive, while the complexities of the plot reveal the author’s comprehensive vision of society." —MaryWhippleReviews.com

 

"Believe me when I tell you that The Unbelievers is one of the best historical mysteries I've read this year. It has an ending that is quite disturbing. I won't be forgetting this one for a long time. The killer was truly deplorable. I hope to see Inspector Allerdyce - if he fully recovers from his ordeals - and Sergeant McGillivray in a sequel." —GumshoeReview.com

 

"A brooding, Victorian murder mystery set in the Scottish Highlands and featuring Inspector Allerdyce and Sergeant McGillivray... In the tradition of Charles Finch and The Somnambulist, Alastair Sim has crafted a memorable, atmospheric novel that covers new ground in the world of Victorian mysteries." —NightOwlSuspense.com

 

Library Journal
When Scotland's wealthiest man, the Duke of Dornoch, is shot and dumped down the well on his property outside Edinburgh, Inspector Allerdyce and Sergeant McGillivray investigate. Hampered by the strict rules of Victorian society, they can't interrogate the victim's wife but can ask gentle questions of the duke's brothers—one of whom stands to inherit all. Or could the killing be tied to the miners whose wages the duke has cut? Fans of Anne Perry's mysteries will instantly recognize a class-conscious Victorian world in which the wealthy are untouchable, protected by their high status, and workers have no standing in society. Debut novelist Sim does not sidestep the era's ugly sexual depravity, greed, and social and political injustices. VERDICT Powerful and thought-provoking, this will appeal to readers who enjoy Perry, Charles Finch, and other authors of Victorian mysteries. [Library marketing.]
Kirkus Reviews

A police inspector tracks a Duke's killer in 1865 Scotland.

Nineteenth-century Edinburgh is a dark industrial city whose shadows Inspector Allerdyce knows all too well. Still mourning his first wife despite his remarriage, Allerdyce has thrown himself into the work of bringing justice to the slums. But when William Bothwell-Scott, Duke of Dornoch, goes missing, the Chief Constable insists that Allerdyce focus all his attention on the peers of the realm. The Duke had a penchant for the low life. With the aid of the Duke's shady valet, Allerdyce and Sergeant McGillivray comb the bawdyhouses and betting parlors of Edinburgh only to find the Duke shot dead, dumped in a well on his own estate. The Duke might have been blackmailed, but his brutal management of his tenant farmers and mineworkers also made him plenty of enemies—including Allerdyce's assistant, McGillivray, whose family was forcibly deported from their ancestral home on Dornoch lands. Corrupt higher-ups in the police force would like nothing better than to pin the murder on labor agitators. When the Duke's brother and heir is found dead too, McGillivray is set to take the fall. Allerdyce must find the real killer in time to save his friend and bring the truth to light, no matter how damning to the aristocracy.

Victorian yet gritty, a debut that will intrigue fans of police procedurals and historical fiction alike.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429941891
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 9/14/2010
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 731,957
  • File size: 313 KB

Meet the Author


ALASTAIR SIM has published stories and playscripts in magazines, anthologies and on the web. The Unbelievers is one of two books which he wrote while in the University of Glasgow’s prestigious Masters in Creative Writing course.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This is a fabulous Victorian era police procedural

    In the twenty-eighth year of the reign of Queen Victoria, the Duke of Dornoch vanishes without a trace in Scotland. Chief Constable Sir Joseph Stewart, Her majesty's Secretary for Scotland Viscount Dunstre, the Lord Advocate Lord Kinnordy, and Superintendent Burgess inform Inspector Archibald Allerdyce that this is a delicate matter so they must investigate with tact. Allerdyce and Sergeant Hector McGillivray begin their inquiries although the lead inspector publicly obeys but silently objects as he knows the foolishness of the aristocracy can prove a waste of time; he prefers inquiries into commoners.

    The inspector quickly finds out that just before the aristocrat disappeared he received a telegram. On the Dornoch estate in Edinburgh, the two sleuths find his corpse in a well. The brass wants Allerdyce to find evidence that will hang a troublemaking mine union leader However, a second homicide has Allerdyce fearing the killer is someone he knows and cares about.

    This is a fabulous Victorian era police procedural that brings to life 1865 Edinburgh as well as the workings of the British bureaucratic aristocratic leadership of that period. The inspector and the sergeant are delightful leads as they go from diplomatic low keyed inquiries into a missing duke to an assertive still discreet murder mystery and ultimately aggressive multi homicide investigation. Although readers will spot the killer before the cops, no one will care as Alastair Sim provides a strong historical whodunit.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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