Suppression of Vice — Patrick Read

The Suppression of Vice by Patrick Read (Michael Allen)

Blackmail, murder and sin in Victorian London.
A dazzling crime novel.

So we are told on the book’s cover. But if the reader is expecting the usual sort of crime story with a brilliant detective, professional or amateur (either aided or hindered by plodders on the beat), he or she will be disappointed. The ‘dazzling’ thing about this book is the skill of the writer in both narrative and portrayal of characters.

But crime story it most certainly is, and involving brutal unsavoury characters. But it is all done with a light touch that entertains the reader on every page (at times, hilariously), while driving him, or her, eagerly onwards to see how it will all end.

But is a satisfactory conclusion possible when a certain royal becomes involved in a seedy affair? Suddenly certain things become familiar. Will the villain pay for crimes committed? Tension grows…

I loved the settings and descriptions of scenes and dress. The Victorian period, with its vivid contrasts and hypocritical standards, came very much alive for me. And not me alone, for my husband read the book to me — and at times when we should both have been working. A most enjoyable ‘shared’ read!

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