I have never been a fan of starting a book midway in a series. I usually feel like it makes me one of those hanger-ons at the outskirts of the 'in crowd' with their inside jokes. This book did none of those things. It was gently welcoming and friendly, sort of like how they were all with each other. The casual ease of the friends and even the families introduced( of our protagonist ) made it a refreshing read.
Rowland Sinclair has just escaped with his life intact from Germany. It is 1933 and there is a feeling in the air of worse things to come than the depression they are facing. We are given enough information to feel the fear and indignation of the associated events. Once on British soil, the four Australian friends get entangled into a case of a man found murdered in his room at his club. Rowland also is trying to get the attention of any one in a position of power who might take his fears of the SA seriously. It packs a lot of random information from the time which lends its aura to the tale. It is very rare for a book like this to have such a nice protagonist, by nice I do not mean angelic, just someone who is a decent human being who shows how much he cares for his friends and family, all the while being treated like the younger privileged sibling who also happens to be an artist.
I liked this book, and when time permits I will surely be looking into more of the series. If you are a fan of historical fiction which draws on real events, and has a mystery as well as good writing, this is a book to try!
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