There are few writers whose work I eagerly anticipate – Christopher Fowler and his amazing cast of “peculiar” characters are among those! The latest offering “The Invisible Code” once again pits the always-in-jeopardy Peculiar Crimes Unit against a heinious invisible villain, the Home Office (always looking for an excuse to shut down the Unit), and their own bosses. St. Bride’s Church is the readers’ new domain and history lesson, along with a trail of clues scattered from the infamous Bedlam Hospital to the code-breaking Bletchley Park of WWII fame.
Fowler has the supreme gift of leading the reader through historical mazes while never missing a beat with his tightly-patterned plots. The oft ill-used phrase “twists and turns” never enters the lexicon of Senior Detectives Arthur Bryant, John May, reluctant Acting Unit Chief Raymond Land, and the five other members: Janice Longbright (Detective Sergeant), Dan Banbury (Crime Scene Manager/InfoTech), Giles Kershaw (Forensic Pathologist – St Pancras Mortuary), Jack Renfield, (Sergeant), Meera Mangeshkar (Detective Constable) – oh and Crippen, the Staff Cat. The various other cast members, Bryant long-suffering housekeeper, Alma plus his dear friend and white witch, to say nothing of the connecting characters at Bletchley Park, take the inquisitive reader through a maze of clues, respecting and challenging the reader to form some sort of pattern in order to solve the intertwined cases.
Another pip of a yarn from Christopher Fowler, hard at work on his next two Peculiar Crimes Unit mysteries: The Bleeding Heart and The Bleeding Man. So ready the teapot, put on the kettle, search up a few biscuits and boiled sweets and prepare to enjoy The Invisible Code.