Merlin at War
A man dying on a battlefield in Crete entrusts an envelope to his lieutenant. A young woman dies from a botched abortion in a seedy London hotel. Traitors are leaking secret plans from the Free French organization headquartered in Britain. These, the curtain-raisers for Merlin at War, should provide more than enough narrative fodder to propel an exciting, World War II police procedural cum spy thriller. Sadly, these intriguing subplots are buried beneath an avalanche of extraneous detail: excessive background information about even minor characters, lengthy accounts of incidents unrelated to the main story, and annoying references to then-current celebrities like Vera Lynn, Ed Murrow, Bill Tilden, and King Zog (Albania’s monarch in exile). DCI Frank Merlin’s involvement in these apparently disconnected events begins when he’s called in to investigate the murder of the illegal abortionist. His inquiries eventually lead him to the Free French headquarters, while, almost incidentally, he learns about the unopened envelope from its caretaker, an old friend, now in London. If you like long-winded novels with a decent plot and clear but uninspired writing, this book may be for you; but if you prefer more direct, focused, and taut mysteries, you need to look elsewhere.
|Publisher||London Wall Publishing|
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|Category||Mystery, Crime & Thriller|