FICTION

Bryant & May and the Burning Man: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery

Bantam. Dec. 2015. 416p. ISBN 9780345547682. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780345547699. M
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During a week of massive and sometimes violent demonstrations by antibank protesters in London, a young, homeless man is burned to death as he sleeps on the steps of a bank. The rest of the police force is busy with the protests, so the Peculiar Crimes Unit (PCU) is assigned the case. As the week progresses from Halloween to Guy Fawkes Day, more murders involving the creative use of fire are committed, and Bryant and May begin to realize they are all connected, to each other, if not the demonstrations. With threats to their unit and the city they've sworn to protect mounting daily, the two elderly detectives rush to uncover the links between the crimes and the identity of the killer in the hopes of saving London and their jobs.
VERDICT Fans of the "Bryant and May" series will welcome this latest installment (after Bryant and May and the Bleeding Heart) with plenty of obscure historical details mixed with outré crimes and the banter of the PCU members. Newcomers will find plenty to enjoy as well without finding the amount of details included from earlier outings overwhelming. [See Prepub Alert, 6/8/15.]

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