Cameron, Kenneth - 'The Second Woman'
This was the first of this series that I had read, though this is the third one. They centre around an American, Denton, living in London in the 1900s.
Denton is at a country house shooting party when he gets a telegram telling him to return home at once. The body of a woman has been found in his garden, but by the time he gets home the case has been taken over by two mysterious men, who spirit the body away and close down the police investigation. Denton's lover Janet, who lives in the adjoining house is worried she may be implicated so Denton sets out to find out who the woman was and how she came to die in their garden.
I thought this book was very interesting, well-plotted and making good use of the great political and social upheaval of the times. The character of Denton is likeable and believable and as an outsider to London society he is a keen observer and has a unique viewpoint. His manservant Atkins is wonderful and funny in what could have been a very dark book but has great touches of the comedic, like Denton navigating round London in his brand new car, and using his newly-installed telephone for the first time.
All kinds of characters populate the pages of this book, from persecuted Jews to the cream of London society, from anarchists to members of the newly-formed Intelligence Services. Cameron has a good eye for detail and he draws his characters well. I was enthralled by this book and could barely put it down. I shall certainly read more of these.
Pat Austin, England
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