Sunday, January 20, 2013

Orders From Berlin: A Mystery Behind A Whodunit

Frank Wilson, my friend and former editor, wrote a good review of Simon Tolkien's thriller, Orders From Berlin for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Simon Tolkien's latest novel is the third he has written featuring English policeman William Trave.

In the first two, set mostly in the late 1950s, Trave is an inspector in the Oxford police department. This new one, though, takes place nearly 20 years earlier, during the London Blitz, and Trave is just another young cop, transferred from Oxford to London, and, in addition to being the assistant to Deputy Chief Inspector John Quaid, has weekend civil defense duties.

Quaid has his doubts about Trave:

He was a queer fish, this new assistant of his. . . . He was built like a boxer, with a square jaw and muscled arms, yet he was always reading poetry books in the canteen, looking as if he were a hundred miles away. As far as Quaid was concerned, Trave thought a damn sight too much for his own good, and it was a constant source of irritation the way he always had to have his own take on their cases. . . . He didn't seem to understand there was such a thing as a chain of command in the police force . . . and there'd been times when Quaid had seriously considered throwing the book at him.

In other words, Trave's most distinguishing characteristic - his refusal to be seduced by the obvious - is already in evidence.

You can read the rest of the review via the below link:

You can also visit Frank Wilson's popular literary blog, Books, Inq, via the below link:

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