Saturday 20 April 2019

The Anarchists' Club by Alex Reeve

This is the second book in the Leo Stanhope series, and if you haven't read the first one yet, The House on Half Moon Street, then please do, because you are missing out on a great book.

Leo gets called to identify the body of a woman who has been buried in the midst of a burrow of rooms and hallways that harbour a group of anarchists. His first instinct is to lie and his second one is to worry about who wasn't found with the corpse.

Leo and Rosie end up as a sleuthing duo again in this story, although their relationship is quite rocky. Leo finds it difficult to forgive Rosie for what happened to Leo in that room. They need to have clarification on why Leo feels so betrayed. Not that it was her fault that they ended up there, but perhaps it has more to do with seeing his vulnerable side and being a witness to the worst thing that could possibly happen to Leo or Rosie. She has seen his shame, but then wasn't she the one who opened that door?

The premise is absolutely refreshing. Reeve wants the reader to understand the limitations for transgender people in this particular era, which can't really be compared to those in the 21st century. Although, to be completely fair there are still plenty of countries with laws comparable to those in the dark ages.

It's historical crime fiction with a compelling main character. Reeve has a natural flair for crime and for telling a story. This isn't a writer who has decided to throw in a transgender character to shake a genre up or be in vogue. He has created a main character with longevity and potential, and it certainly wouldn't work if he wasn't such a talented scribe. Luckily he is, which hopefully means we will be hearing a lot more from Reeve in the future.

Buy The Anarchists' Club (Leo Stanhope 2) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Raven Books; pub date 2 May 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of Half Moon Street by Alex Reeve.

Follow Alex Reeves @storyjoy or @BloomsburyRaven onTwitter

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