Monday 7 January 2019

#BlogTour The Murder Pit by Mick Finlay

Today it is my turn on the BlogTour The Murder Pit by Mick Finlay, the second book in the Arrowood series. It's a captivating, and yet an equally amusing and tragic read. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this murder mystery series set in the Victorian era.

About the Author
Mick Finlay was born in Glasgow but left as a young boy, living in Canada and then England. Before becoming an academic, he ran a market stall on Portobello Road, and has worked as a tent-hand in a travelling circus, a butcher's boy, a hotel porter, and in various jobs in the NHS and social services. He teaches in a Psychology Department, and has published research on political violence and persuasion, verbal nd non-verbal communication, and disability. He now lives in Brighton with his family.

Follow @mickfinlay2 @HQStories @HQDigitalUK on Twitter,Visit mickfinlay.comBuy The Murder Pit

About the book
1896: Sherlock Holmes has once again hit the headlines, solving mysteries for the cream of aristocracy. But among the workhouses and pudding shops of South London, private detective William Arrowood is presented with far grittier, more violent and considerably less well-paid cases. Arrowood has no doubt who is the better detective, and when Mr. and Mrs. Barclay engage him to find their estranged daughter, Birdie, he’s sure it won’t be long before he and his assistant, Barnett, have tracked her down.

But this seemingly simple missing-person case soon turns into a murder investigation. Far from the comfort of Baker Street, Arrowood’s London is a city of unrelenting cruelty, where evil is waiting to be uncovered…

This is the second book in the Arrowood series. When I read the first book I can remember thinking what an excellent premise this is. Presenting a disgruntled, a down to earth and a more working class persona as the nemesis to Sherlock Holmes, albeit one he is more or less unaware of, is an amusing and intriguing read.

Although considered politically incorrect in our era; the definitions, medical theories and treatment of people with mental health issues and deficiencies during the Victorian era, are an important part of history. It is pertinent to shed a light on advances in thought processes and advancements, and just as important to understand the tragedy of misunderstanding mental health in this historical and fictional context.

The injustice and maltreatment, especially in the cases of women in particular, is shocking at the very least. The author takes the opportunity to highlight a few infamous cases of how to get rid of someone via the overall descriptor of mania, insanity or hysteria with some of the most ridiculous and dangerous theories of that era.

Which brings us to the case of Birdie, a young woman with diminished mental capacities, who has not been seen by her parents since she was married off to an equally mentally challenged young man. The family she married into is reluctant to let Birdie interact with anyone outside of her new family. In fact Arrowood thinks this case is more than just a family disagreement.

Barnett finally admits the truth about his personal situation and takes a small uncertain step towards allowing himself a break and trying to enter the inner circle. At the heart of his reluctance lies a feeling of inadequacy. In comparison to Arrowood he still feels like a second class citizen. The fact his curmudgeonly boss and partner in crime-solving has a hair-trigger temper and a penchant for unpredictable bouts of violence and throwing objects at him, only serves to ingrain these emotions in him.

Part of the charm of Arrowood and Co. is the genuine need to help the innocent and vulnerable, regardless of the danger, obstruction and lack of payment they often face. Unlike the best detective in the world, Sherlock Holmes, who as Arrowood often points out, is only in it for the fame and money.

Finlay has certainly honed his craft and given due diligence to the research on mental illness during the Victorian era, which makes this an exceptional murder mystery read. I would enjoy seeing this as a television version - the imperfection and rough exterior would be a more realistic representation of a Victorian detective and even more amusing considering how disgruntled Arrowood is when it comes to Holmes and Watson.

I sincerely hope this second book is one of many to come. Finlay is most definitely an author to watch. The second book in the Arrowood series is a captivating, and yet an equally amusing and tragic read. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this murder mystery series set in the Victorian era.

Buy The Murder Pit (Arrowood Mystery #2) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Publisher: HQ Digital pub date 10 Jan. 2019

Read my review of Arrowood (book #1) by Mick Finlay

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