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Chris High reviews a novel by Martin Edwards.

THE ARSENIC LABYRINTH

Martin Edwards

Publisher: Allison & Busby
ISBN: 0 7490 8111 2
February 12th, 2007

Front cover of the book by Martin Edwards - The Arsenic Labyrinth.

THE ARSENIC LABYRINTH
written by
MARTIN EDWARDS


Like fine wine, Martin Edwards’s series of novels set in the Lake District improve with age. The Arsenic Labyrinth, the third in the series following the highly acclaimed The Coffin Trail and The Cipher Garden, sees the lives of former historian Daniel Kind and DCI Hannah Scarlett come together again in a tale more satisfying than a bottle of vintage Krug.

 


Historian Daniel Kind is finding the winter months at Brackdale tough, especially so as his relationship with Miranda is also going through a dark time. Far from the bright lights of London and with the renovations behind schedule and over-budget, Miranda has a bad case of itchy feet. The fear that she may just get up and leave isn’t far from his thoughts. She wouldn’t be the first: years ago a solitary woman called Emma Beswick left her cottage nearby and never came back. Her disappearance went unaccounted for, and the unresolved case always irked DCI Hannah Scarlett.

Someone knows something though; someone who keeps calling the local newspaper and dropping hints about Emma’s death. With the case reopened, Hannah and Daniel are drawn together again, and discover that one person will preserve the secrets of the past, whatever the cost.

This, genuinely, is one terrific read. Intriguing, fast-paced and, at times, disturbing, The Arsenic Labyrinth sees the central characters of Kind and Scarlett as more rounded, more genuine individuals who continue to grow with steadfast assuredness.
Edwards’s grasp on the descriptive, too, is evermore vivid as the sights and scents of The Lakes become ever more evocative so that one can almost smell the bracken, feel the mist and sense the knives being stabbed into backs by the locals, as gossip and innuendo increases on every page.

The Arsenic Labyrinth is Martin Edwards at his very, very best and is a complex though never confusing thriller that should be read by anyone with a love of excellent writing.
8/10

www.martinedwardsbooks.com

“The site - not just the review section! - keeps getting better and better. Many congratulations.”
Martin Edwards - February 2007.

Order this book online - Linghams Booksellers


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