I’ve read previously #7 in this series (Bryant & May on the Loose) in the days before blogging and I chose #5 (The Water Room) for my choice in The Transworld Book Group Reading Challenge. When I saw #9 The Memory of Blood on Netgalley, having enjoyed the other two stories so much, I requested approval.
At the beginning of the uncorrected proof copy is a breakdown of the purpose of the Peculiar Crimes Unit (PCU) and the characters. It was great to see the same characters … I knew I was going to enjoy this one too so settled down to read on Adobe Digital Edtions.
We start the story at the end … yes, that’s right, at the end. We’re at a party in a Chamber of Horrors. All the guests are locked in and the PCU has until midnight to arrest the murderer. One of the guests is the murderer …
The PCU has a fresh start in this book – as far as the premises are concerned. They are now housed in a building that several occult societies have used in the past and there are some interesting finds in the attic. The building is said to be built over a convergence of leylines. Straight away we have the esoteric connection that I’ve loved in the previous books. Although re-housed, the PCU still gets into a tangle with those in high places in Government who want the unit to be closed down!
There is still the banter between the team and Arthur Bryant is still his eccentric self, thinking out of the box to get results. I think the following excerpt will show the respect he feels about the niceties of society:
‘Well, you’re not getting results using traditional investigative methods, are you?’ Bryant took out his gobstopper to see if it had changed colour, then reinserted it into his mouth. (Bear in mind Arthur is an elderly gentleman!)
As always there are some unusual and interesting facts in the story. This time based on Punch & Judy and the psychology of that story. Despite my dislike of puppets coming to life, I found this fascinating. I don’t think I would be able to watch this at the cinema though!
Alongside the investigation into the murders runs another plotline. Arthur Bryant has been writing his biography with the help of Anna. There is a tragedy involved which is left open for conclusion in the next book. I think this will be quite a journey!
It’s so easy to become involved in the story. Apart from all the interesting facts, the tension is building all the time with layers of tragedy. I’ve not been able to guess the murderer in the previous books and this time was no different.
The Memory of Blood is another exciting page-turning, tension-filled story. If you’re not already a fan but enjoy finding out unusual facts and love a murder/mystery then I recommend you buy yourself a copy. You won’t be disappointed!
I would like to thank the publishers, Random House Publishing Group for approving my request on Netgalley.