I’m a fan of Chris Nickson’s other crime novels, especially the Richard Nottingham series, so I was very interested to read his latest book, set in 1924. I was especially excited to read an historical crime novel with a female protagonist, WPC Lottie Armstrong.
Lottie, and her partner Cathy, walk the beat in Leeds. However, as WPCs their duties are very different to those dished out to their male counterparts. They deal with women and children, prostitutes, illegal abortions, a tiny subsection of the duties expected of a regular police constable. But thanks to a CID officer who values Lottie’s people skills and ‘pluck’, she soon finds herself heavily involved in a case that includes murder, embezzlement and ‘deviants’, the term then used for homosexuals and transgender people.
Nickson’s plotting skills are as flawless as usual and he builds up the tension nicely, making the reader keen to discover not only the who- but also the why-dunnit. The main characters are well drawn and my only disappointment with the book is that the secondary characters, like Lottie’s husband, seem a little underdeveloped. But this is a minor quibble in an otherwise excellent book.