As the shadow of World War II descends over Europe, Detective Inspector Thomas Lamb hunts for an elusive killer behind the veil of a seemingly charming English village.German bombers are arriving daily, seeking to crush England. But in a rural Hampshire village, things have remained fairly quiet—until an elderly loner, Will Blackwell, is brutally murdered. The method of his killing bears the hallmarks of the traditional vanquishing of a witch, and indeed, local legend claims that as a boy, Blackwell encountered a ghostly black dog sent from the devil, who struck a bargain for Blackwell’s soul.
Not long after the murder, a young woman who is carrying the illegitimate child of a fighter pilot also is violently killed; then a local drunkard ends up in the race of an abandoned mill with the back of his head bashed in. As the Germans continue their relentless attack, Detective Inspector Thomas Lamb rushes to solve the crimes. Do the killer’s motivations lie in the murky regions of the occult?
About the Author
Stephen Kelly is an award-winning writer, reporter, editor and newspaper columnist. His work has appeared in The Baltimore Sun, The Washington Post and Baltimore Magazine. He has a Master of Arts degree from the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars and has taught writing and journalism at Hopkins, Towson University, in Baltimore, and Sweet Briar College, in Virginia. He lives in Columbia, Maryland.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Language of the Dead: A World War II Mystery based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Set in the English countryside in 1940, this is an excellent story of a small, ill-staffed police force attempting to stop a multiple murderer amid daily bombings and the climate of war. The characters are well rounded, the routine of the police force well described and the mystery well disguised until the unveiling near the end. The infringement of war on daily life is realistic in this novel. The uncertainties, the rationing, the blackouts and nightly aerial raids are realistically presented. There are a couple of characters I found a bit wooden. Emilie's mother and Wallace's crush are paper dolls, but the main characters are fully presented. I would enjoy visiting them, again.