Fantasy Mystery Comics Non-Fiction Fiction

The Black Hand

Monday, January 8, 2018

The Black Hand (2008) Will Thomas

The fifth Barker & Llewelyn book finds the inquiry agent and his apprentice asked to find a solution to mafia killings that have come to London.

“Are many of them Sicilian?”

“Sicilian?” Dunham asked, as if it were a new word to his vocabulary. “Dunno ’bout that. One I-talian’s pretty much like another, I reckon.”

“Oh, no,” I put in. “They’re all different. Italy’s only been unified in recent times, and even now, the country is in discord. Most of the south is full of secret criminal societies.”

Here’s something familiar:

“But if I have to deport a hundred unlawful immigrants in order to stop a handful of Mafia criminals knowledgeable about making bombs and killing people, I won’t lose any sleep over it. I have public safety to consider and I can’t afford to be subtle.”

And something else familiar:

The Italians are willing to work for a wage that, frankly, the English workers won’t accept, but they have begun to demand a minimum number of working hours per day, which is madness, because we can’t guarantee the work.

And here’s a fascinating tidbit:

“The Sicilians hate the French, of course.” “The French? Why?” “Sicily was ruled by the Bourbons for decades. The Mafia was formed to combat them. The word Mafia is an acronym for ‘Kill the French is Italy’s cry.’”


This bothered me a bit.

He attended no theater, was tone-deaf, and read few novels.

He is a fluent Chinese speaker. Can you really be fluent in any dialect of Chinese and be tone-deaf?

To sum, I really like this historic portions of these books. The mysteries are interesting, but to be honest, this wasn’t a really a mystery.

I started the next book, but it wasn’t holding my attention, so I moved onto something else. We’ll see how long it takes me to pick the next book back up.
Rating: 7/10

Publisher: Touchstone

Categories: British, Historical, Mystery, Private Eye, Re-Read     Comments (0)    

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