Series: Daniel Pitt #4
Publication Date: 4/13/21
Number of Pages: 304
** 3.4 STARS **
I love this author and this series, but this is my least favorite book so far. I’m not saying it isn’t a good read, I’m just saying that it isn’t as good as previous books. I am usually very good at figuring out whodunit, following the clues, etc. but this one just kept me scratching my head throughout – not in a good way. I just didn’t get some of those ‘logic leaps’ that were made and I’ll give you some reasons below.
Daniel Pitt, twenty-five years old, a lawyer in the law chambers of fford Croft and Gibson, son of Sir Thomas Pitt, head of Special Branch, receives a summons from the police to come to the morgue to identify a body. The only identifiable item on the body was Daniel’s business card. Daniel had already been worrying about his friend and fellow lawyer, Toby Kitteridge because he was always early, never late – and today he was late to work. Daniel, filled with fear and trepidation at what he might see when he gets into the morgue, seems to have his worst fears confirmed when he sees Kitteridge’s unsightly coat hanging in the morgue. Then, they escort him into the area where the body has been kept. Daniel swallows hard, takes a deep breath, and tells them he is ready. What he sees will haunt him forever – a horribly slashed face (and body) – but it isn’t Kitteridge – it is another lawyer from their firm, Jonah Drake.
Why would Jonah Drake be in that depraved part of London – in the wee hours of the morning? Was he pursuing some perverse inclinations at one of the bawdy houses? Not likely. Was he pursuing leads on a case on which he was working? His current case was a tangled financial one, not something that should take him to that area. Is it something from a previous case? It could be. As they question and look into Jonah’s life and cases, they meet a man they didn’t know existed. Jonah was seen as aloof and cold – a workaholic at the office – no personal life, yet, in the notes and drawings they find as they go through his paperwork, they get to know a brilliant mind, a perceptive mind, a witty mind, a lonely man. How could they all have ignored this man who was so much more than they ever imagined?
As their investigation goes on, Daniel’s father gets involved as well as others who have made appearances in previous books. We have more bodies turning up in almost the same place and still no idea who or why the murders have happened.
For me personally, this wasn’t a great mystery – but it was a lovely way to see Daniel grow as a person, and perhaps that was one of the purposes of the book. Daniel has been sort of a man-child who was learning his way in the world and trying to get out of the shadow of his wonderful larger-than-life father. He also sees his own shortcomings in judging someone by outward appearances/actions. His learning to appreciate Jonah as the person he was rather than the person he projected hopefully taught Daniel a valuable lesson he’ll use in future books. He saw his father was human and vulnerable just like everybody else and that was a good thing.
Here are some of the reasons the mystery part of this book left me scratching my head: (1) Daniel seemed totally inept and almost played a secondary role. (2) Daniel, his father, and Kittreridge went over the same evidence time-after-time-after-time. (3) Daniel, his father, and Kittridge asked the exact same questions of themselves and each other time-after-time-after-time. (4) Giant leaps in the progress of the case would happen, with nothing to support it. They just all suddenly decided this is what happened and off they went. (5) Somehow, because Marcus is getting forgetful, they immediately start assuming he must have done something shady. (6) When Charlotte is kidnapped, Daniel and his father sit around reading files trying to solve the murder. How is that going to tell them where Charlotte is being kept? Why didn’t they just ask Roman Blackwell and his mother to check the area where they were sure Charlotte was being held – after all, that area is their old stomping grounds?
Anyway, the book was an okay read, but I wouldn’t read this one again. I’ll certainly be looking forward to the next book and will be hoping that a post-COVID book will have a different flavor/feel than one written during COVID.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.