This is my first Bryant and May novel, their twelfth case to solve and it is not a pretty one.
Now I wasn't really sure what to expect from this series but I came in to it with an open mind, my previous crime reads vary from Wallander and JD Robb's In Death to Sherlock, Marple and Jasper Fforde with his literary detectives so I was ready for anything.
In the City of London, the banks are up to their scandalous best, the rich get richer and the poor? well the poor, they riot. As they riot things turn nasty and an innocent homeless man is burnt to death on the steps of one of the banks, was it a horrible.... well accident isn't really the word is it when they are wanting to damage the bank, bad aim may be better or was it an act of murder?
As the officers of the Peculiar Crime Unit start to get involved they discover it was murder and as the bodies starts to pile up they realise a killer is very much at large, a killer with a vivid, murderous imagination who is prepared to go the extra mile to get his victim - but who is he or she?
Well Bryant and May are on the case, our elderly detectives have been around the block several hundred times and some of their crime solving methods are a little on the crazy side, mostly Bryant rather than May, but as body after body turns up each one more and more horrific they start to see a pattern emerging, fire is the cause of death (some really gruesome burns described here, if you a squeamish buy the audio book, you can fast forward those parts!), can they solve the case before another victim is burned at the stake?
As I said this is my first book in this series and I was really impressed, the two main characters are charismatic, totally like chalk and cheese but as Bryant deals with some personal problems you see how May and his fellow officers genuinely care for him.
All in all this is a great crime read with well written characters who you actually give two shits about and a whole host of supporting characters who really don't feel like they are just there to make up the numbers. London as usual shines through, though in my it felt grey and dirty as the victims started to mount up which was perfect to the story that was building up around it.
I really wish I had discovered this series earlier but hey if this is book twelve then I have eleven to catch up on!