Fantasy Mystery Comics Non-Fiction Fiction

Where the Dead Lie

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Where the Dead Lie (2017) C.S. Harris

Set in London in September 1813.

In case you’ve lost track, this is book 12 in the Sebastian St Cry series.

Sebastian is becoming used to fatherhood, and although his sister still hates him, Sebastian’s father has been reaching out to Sebastian, to try perhaps to repair their relationship. And the fact that Hero is letting him spend time with his grandson doesn’t hurt.

The mystery here is far more along the lines of Hero’s interests: an ex-solder stumbles upon two men attempting to bury the body of a murdered boy. Both men get away, and because it was only a street child, the magistrate closes the case as soon as it’s brought in. However, the local constable doesn’t like it, and the story ends up piquing Sebastian’s curiosity.

He insists that Benji Thatcher’s injuries were most likely sustained in whatever accidental fall killed him.”

Sebastian rested his shoulders against his bench’s high, old-fashioned back. “And the ligature marks around his neck?”

“Sir Arthur doesn’t seem to recall those.”

Or perhaps making Sebastian angry is closer to the truth.

“She was sent to Botany Bay?”

Gowan took another big bite of his pie. “Aye. Scheduled to hang at first, she was. But the sentence was commuted to seven years’ transportation at the end of the sessions. She begged ’em to let her take the children with her— didn’t have no family hereabouts t’ leave ’em with. But the magistrates wouldn’t do it. Said Benji and Sybil was old enough to fend fer themselves.” The constable shook his head. “Sybil was five at the time. How was she supposed to fend fer herself?”

This is a very difficult story, in that it deals with the torture, rape, murder, and above all poverty of children–and the willful blindness of the society to the poor.

There are also some really terrible human beings who are allowed to roam free because they happen to be rich or noble or both.

It’s a good mystery, and a reflection of the times in which the story is set, but it is hard to read about so many evildoers going unpunished.
Rating: 8/10

Published by Berkley

Categories: 8/10, British, Historical, Mystery     Comments (0)    

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