Book Review: “The Murder Pit”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The Murder Pit” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Mick Finlay (https://mickfinlay.com). This is Mr. Finlay’s second publication and the second book in his “Arrowood Mystery” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence and some Mature Language. The story is set in the England of 1896. The primary character is private detective William Arrowood.

Arrowood is a comtemporary of Sherlock Holmes, but he has little respect for him. Arrowood is engaged by a couple to find their estranged daughter, Birdie. Birdie has  married, but since then she has refused any attempts at contact by her parents.

Arrowood and his colleague, Norman Barnett, travel a short distance outside of London where Birdie is living with her husband. He and his entire family are well thought of in the local community, but they refuse to let Arrowood and Barnett speak to Birdie. The detectives nose around, asking questions, but they only stir up the ire of the locals.

When an old gypsy woman who befriends them disappears, Arrowood asks even more questions, stirring up the locals even more. Arrowood and Barnett are threatened and attacked. The more they investigate the less they trust Birdie’s inlaws or her parents. At the same time they feel that something is clearly wrong at the farm where Birdie is living.

I enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 432-page mystery. I chose this novel because I thought it had something to do with Sherlock Holmes. It doesn’t other than annimosity towards Holmes by Arrowood. There are several characters in this story that suffer from mental problems. Revealing how they were treated at the close of the 19th century seems to be part of the mission of this novel. The story was OK, but I thought it was a little slow. The cover art is OK, but I think something more closely tied to the story would have been better. I give this novel a 3.7 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis)

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