The Iron Water by Chris Nickson 5/5*
Two macabre discoveries in a single morning present an intriguing challenge for Detective Inspector Tom Harper
Leeds, England. July, 1893. D.I. Tom Harper is witnessing the demonstration of a devastating new naval weapon, the torpedo, at Roundhay Park. The explosion brings up a body in the lake, a rope lashed tightly around its waist.
At the same time, dredging operations in the River Aire are disrupted when a woman’s severed leg floats to the water’s surface, still clad in its stocking and boot. Could the two macabre discoveries be connected?
Harper’s investigations will lead him right to the heart of the criminal underworld that underpins the city – and into the path of a merciless killer.
The iron Water is the 4th novel in the Tom Harper series. Opening up in Victorian Leeds 1893. When I originally read the blurb for this novel, I assumed this one in the series maybe more aimed at the male reader! I was wrong, big time! With the new novel we learn that, baby Mary Grace Harper has been born. Annabelle is becoming more & more involved with the independent Labour Party and Billy reed is now an Inspector with the fire brigade.
Inspector Tom Harper is called in to represent the Leeds police as a torpedo is tested locally at Waterloo lake, as part of a war experiment. What follows is dramatic scenes where a torpedo blows a body from the water. When the local officers dredge the river, the case becomes far more complex. Before long, Tom Harper has several murder cases stacked up. Rumours of bent coppers, ex-boxers & current fighters, gangsters from the Leeds underworld and a series of violent deaths! With the home secretary threatening to bring in Scotland Yard, Tom finds himself in desperate need to solve the case and solve it quickly. Is there a vigilante on the loose or is someone attempting to take over the Leeds crime scene?
For me the real star of this series is Annabelle. With the rise of the Labour Party in this series, we really get to see her character evolve. Annabelle is hugely inspirational, the way in which she looks out for the other women locally and manages to balance motherhood, her business empire & marriage to Tom Harper. I really think she is a star of the series and I am so glad that a series centred around a male character has such a solid female equivalent. Tom Harper is equally an admirable, however it is rare in this genre an author writes such a fantastic balance of male & female characters! Huge credit to the author for this fantastic series! This novel also has many background characters that are extremely well written. They are dark, shady & majorly involved in the local crime networks. This novel delivers on so many levels and for that reason it is a 5* read!