London, 1921. Prominent politician Lord Amersham has been shot dead outside his Regent’s Park home. DCI Paul Stark is under pressure to produce a quick result. Secretary of State for the Colonies, Winston Churchill, is convinced that Bolsheviks are responsible. Special Branch believe there’s a connection to the Government talks taking place with Michael Collins and other IRA leaders over Irish Home Rule. Or could the murder be connected to Lord Amersham’s scandalous private life?
Then there is a second murder, and the case takes a terrifying new twist ….
SHADOWS OF THE DEAD
London, 1921. Lord Johnny Fairfax has been found dead in his study, along with a second victim, a mysterious American who arrived unannounced the previous evening. For DCI Paul Stark, the case is personal: he’s in a relationship with Lord Fairfax’s former wife, Lady Amelia.
The dead man had no shortage of enemies. Winston Churchill, his former colleague at the War Office, is convinced the murder is revenge for the disaster at Gallipoli. Lady Amelia herself is accused of the crime. And who was the American visitor? What was his connection with Lord Fairfax – and could he have been the real target?
As Stark digs deeper, he uncovers evidence of a shocking conspiracy that strikes at the heart of the British Establishment.
Praise for the first Stark novel from prestigious American literary magazines:
“Against a backdrop of political unrest, a multiple murderer wreaks havoc in post-World War I Britain. October 1921. Shots are fired outside the residence of Lord Amersham’s home in Regent’s Park. When Scotland Yard DCI Paul Stark arrives with his sergeant, Robert Danvers, he’s confronted by a furious Winston Churchill, Secretary of State for the Colonies. Three bullets found their mark, indicating that the killer was an experienced gunman. Amersham’s vocal opposition to both the British Communist Party and the fight for Irish independence made him the target of many. Suspicion naturally falls on charismatic Irish Republican Army leader Michael Collins, who at first bristles under Stark’s questions but ultimately offers his assistance. Besides providing interesting nuggets of history, Eldridge depicts his lead characters with complexity and compassion, auguring well for this series kickoff.”
“The assassination of a nobleman in broad daylight in front of his London house in 1921 upsets the ruling class. Eldridge presents an appealing cast: DCI Stark, a decorated veteran who came home from the war to find his wife dead of influenza, now lives with his parents, who help care for his eight-year-old son; and his able assistant, DS Robert Danvers, who’s estranged from his upper-class father for his choice of occupation. A smart start to a proposed series, with politics threaded through procedure, plus a hint of romance.”
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