Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Review: Treachery at Lancaster Gate by Anne Perry

Treachery at Lancaster Gate (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, Book #31)
by Anne Perry
Release Date: March 22nd 2016
2016 Ballantine Books
Ebook Edition; 304 Pages
ISBN: 978-1101886328
Genre: Fiction / Mystery / Historical
Source: Review copy from publisher

3.5 / 5 Stars

When an explosion in London kills two policemen and seriously injures three more, many believe that anarchists are the culprits. But Thomas Pitt, commander of Special Branch, knows the city’s radical groups well enough to suspect otherwise: that someone with decidedly more personal motives lit the deadly fuse. As he investigates the source of the fatal blast, he’s stunned to discover the bombing was a calculated strike against the ranks of law enforcement.

But still more shocking revelations await, as Pitt’s inquiries lead him to a member of Parliament hoping for a lucrative business deal, a high-ranking police officer with secrets to keep, and an aristocratic opium addict seeking murderous revenge. As he pursues each increasingly threatening lead, Pitt finds himself impeded at every turn by the barriers put in place to protect the rich and powerful—barriers which, as they start to crumble, threaten to bury him alive.

My Thoughts
The Charlotte & Thomas Pitt series is one that I have followed faithfully since the first book was published those many years ago, and although I continue to read them, I really feel like a lot of the suspense and the thrill of the earlier books has been missing in the later books, including this one.  While I did have some serious hope around one-third of the way in, I felt a bit disappointed by the end as I don't think the author quite lived up to the expectations she set up. This definitely had the potential to be quite explosive, and put Pitt and those he loves in quite a position, but it didn't quite find its mark.  

First of all, I have always felt that the author is quite good at character development, and have always enjoyed seeing these characters grow throughout the novels.  And while I did enjoy the inner dialogues of the various characters, and I will always adore Gracie, I am still not a big fan of Jack, although I do understand him.  I do think the second-guessing went a bit far in this one and was a bit much - time to get on with the story.  

I do like the political climate and wish a bit more had been explained with regards to that - we are entering the time of the Boer War after all, the Mahdist War was coming to an end, and things were very unsettled in Europe.  And while I was expecting some big international conspiracy, especially as Pitt was involved, it was not quite what I expected, and I was quite happy for Tellman to take on a more central role.  I really liked the position in which Tellman and Pitt found themselves as I think it was quite relevant especially considering some of the things that are happening in our modern world.  I do wish the author had delved a bit deeper into the scenario however, as I felt she was holding back a bit thinking it would be too controversial or something, but I liked where it was headed.  And I definitely found it interesting.  It is really hard to discuss it without giving too much away, but suffice it to say that there was little mystery in this one, rather more like Pitt trying to deal with political machinations due to the bombing, uncovering stuff he would rather not have know about, and trying to figure out what to do about it.  It was this investigation where things got a little murky, and people started questioning themselves over and over again, and I started becoming impatient.  Too much inner dialogue and not enough action.  And too little Charlotte, again. 

Treachery at Lancaster Gate was rather interesting because I liked the political aspect of this book and where it was going.  I do wish the author had gone a bit deeper into the machinations behind the betrayal and the corruption, but maybe it will be explored in further books.  I also felt the ending was a bit abrupt and the trial didn't really feel like a trial, although this is nothing new to this series; I guess I was hoping for something more like the Monk series in that regards.  Overall, it wasn't a bad book, and I did enjoy it, but it was far from my favourite.