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Mystery Fiction Review: Murder in Thrall by Anne Cleeland

Murder in Thrall by Anne Cleeland (Scotland Yard #1)


Egalley thanks to Kensington

Synopsis from Goodreads
From Anne Cleeland comes the first in a captivating new mystery series, following the perilous exploits of two Scotland Yard detectives as they track down London's most elusive killer. . . First-year detective Kathleen Doyle and Chief Inspector Michael Sinclair, Lord Acton, are a most unlikely pair. An Irish redhead of humble beginnings and modest means, Doyle is the antithesis of Acton, the British lord who has established himself as a brilliant but enigmatic figure with a knack for solving London's most high profile homicides. But Acton senses something exceptional beneath Doyle's awkward naivete and taps her to help him with his investigations. And her spot-on intuition is just what he needs to solve a chilling string of murders. . .

When a horse trainer is found dead at a racetrack, Doyle and Acton begin interviewing witnesses and the victim's associates, but the killer continues to strike and they're left with more questions than answers. Their investigation is further muddled by their colleagues at CID Headquarters, whose career-driven jealousies and workplace blunders could jeopardize the case--and their nosing into the nature of Doyle and Acton's after hours relationship could lay bare the most classified information of all. . .

Perhaps the trainer was the target of a jilted lover on a killing spree. Or maybe the victims were collateral damage in a political coup gone awry. As the murders pile up, Doyle and Acton uncover something far more sadistic than they could have imagined, and now that they know too much, they'll find themselves squarely in the crosshairs of a cold-blooded killer. . .

Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository US/UK | Fishpond

9.5/10

* * *
By far this is my favorite book by Anne Cleeland right now. In fact, it's so awesome I want to either re-read it or get my hands onto the next book in series which will only be out in summer next year. 



If I was attempting to describe this book I would have said it's an unholy mix of Peabody (a secondary heroine from In Death series by Nora Roberts) and Sherlock (the brilliant character from the newest BBC adaptation) with a pinch of Ben Aaronovitch' Peter Grant series.

This is a classic mystery with a Sherlock-type detective inspector, Lord Acton, in modern London investigating a series of murders. What is unexpected in this book is his rookie assistant, Kathleen Doyle and a fantastic romantic story which tramples the whole investigation by its emotional impact.

I've said it before that Anne Cleeland excels in a sly, quiet, non-showy romance in her books. The romance in Murder in Thrall is superb.

Acton and Doyle are both social misfits with their own unique gifts which keep them aside from the rest of the crowd, so the interactions between them are not what we would call socially acceptable and they do not follow an expected pattern of behavior. But, my God, their conversations of a very few words and their actions towards each other cut me to the bone! I can't quite put my finger on what exactly snagged me, but I LOVED this couple and I would say they were one of my favorites this year.

" I am a Section Seven." 
A silence followed the quiet words. They stood, their gazes locked whilst she tried to hide  her astonishment. It was the pure truth, an it was a reference to the Stalking Act. Be very careful here, my girl, she thought; do not panic. "I see. Is it only me, or are there others?"
" Only you." The intensity began to dissipate, now that he made his confession.
" Misdemeanor or felony? "
He thought about it for a moment.
" Felony."
I understand that not everyone would savor this type of quirky writing, but Anne Cleeland is totally my author, and I highly recommend her to you, my dear readers.

* * *
Вот не могу уловить, что именно меня привлекает в писательском стиле Анн Клиланд, но она точно - мой автор, так как я её книгами зачитываюсь, захлёбываясь от восторга.

Её герои - экцентрики, их диалоги минималистичны, а действия режут по самую душу, несмотря на то, что всё описано с довольно сухим чувством юмора.

Детектив-инспектор Скотланд-Ярда, Лорд Актон, современный Шерлок Холмс и его помощница-новичок полиции Лондона, ирландка Катлин Дойл расследуют серию таинственных убийств, вроде бы не связанных друг с другом.

Казалось бы, эта книга - очередной детектив, но её совершенно меняет роман между главными героями. Оба Актон и Дойл - изгои общества ввиду своих необычных талантов, поэтому и отношения между ними не следуют социальным правилам, к которым мы привыкли.  Напряжение и интенсивность, странная эротичность обыденных слов и действий, - эта пара меня почему-то покорила, и я её считаю одной из лучших из прочитанных мною книг в этом году.

Именно поэтому книгу очень рекомендую, несмотря на то, что не всем такой слог придётся по вкусу.

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