The Nightingale Affair

Hachette Audio. (Inspector Charles Field, Bk. 2). May 2023. 10:45 hrs. ISBN 9781668628348. $27.99. M
In Mason’s second historical mystery featuring former Metropolitan Police Inspector Charles Field (following The Darwin Affair), the protagonist is now working as a private investigator in London. Field’s latest case bears a striking similarity to a prior case that occurred during the Crimean War and involved a serial killer who targeted nurses in Florence Nightingale’s ward. Although that case was considered solved when the prime suspect died by suicide, Field now questions whether or not the real murderer is still at large or if he is dealing with a copycat killer. Rich attention to historical detail and action that alternates between the past and the present keep this novel moving at a leisurely but engaging pace. In addition to Florence Nightingale, appearances by real-life individuals, including Charles Dickens, Benjamin Disraeli, and Wilkie Collins, are sprinkled throughout. Narrator Matthew Lloyd Davies gives a taut presentation complete with various character accents that bring this grim tale to vivid life.
VERDICT An engrossing historical novel that takes listeners on a grisly journey from the Crimean Peninsula to the seedy recesses of underground London.
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