An Ian Hamilton Mystery, Book One
A Bookish Observation
My GoodReads’ Star Rating: 3 stars out of 5, which means I liked it!
“Edinburgh Twilight” is set in Scotland’s city of Edinburgh in 1881, when the Police Force was in its infancy and forensic science was practically nonexistent. The book’s description of Edinburgh gives me the impression that, if you went looking, you’d be able to find all the landmarks mentioned in the story, if they still exist. In the founding days of the Police Force, collecting evidence and clues was haphazard and depended on the skill of the Detective, the co-operation of his colleagues, reliable information obtained through goodwill, and luck.
Within this first book in the series, the author, Carole Lawrence, takes the opportunity to build the characters, gradually, as the story evolves. By the end of the story, they are fully formed and interesting; the goodies being likeable and the baddies being despicable. In a good way, the book is a bit melodramatic, which suits the story; the reader is held securely, with a good plot, to the very end. A very readable mystery.
The main character, Detective Inspector Ian Hamilton, is a well-read, intelligent and humane individual, who sets out to solve a set of serial killings with very few clues to the identity of the villain. He sprinkles, within his dialogue, short quotes from Robert Burns and Shakespeare which add texture to his character. He is helped in his pursuit of the villain by several well drawn characters, including, his off-sider Sergeant Dickerson, George Pearson, a librarian who insists on helping, along with a street-kid, Derek McNair, who is shrewd, courageous and quirky.
At the beginning of the story, I found the pace is a bit slow and melodramatic, and the narrator, Napoleon Ryan, gave me the impression that at any moment he may read-out those famous words: “It was a dark and stormy night”; happily, he didn’t.
After the first few chapters the pace picks up. The slow pace of the early chapters gave the author an opportunity to build the characters and their back-story, giving way to a good plot that kept me intrigued to the very last page.
I enjoyed the story so much that I’ve purchased the second book in the series, “Edinburgh Dusk”, and I look forward to DI Ian Hamilton’s next escapade.
A little about the author
Carole Lawrence: She writes under the names Carole Lawrence, C.E. Lawrence, and Carole Brugge. She is an award winning novelist, poet, composer and playwright.
A little about the audio narrator
Napoleon Ryan: He is a British actor of stage and screen, based in London. He has narrated several books available on Audible.
Mystery – Historical British Police Detective