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Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Ratecatcher - A story of a Bow Street Runner by James McGee


I really enjoyed this tale and bought it as a collection of the three first stories of Hawkwood. The reader is introduced to the plot and character gradually via the run down slums and hardships of low life city of London classes. We see our Bow street runner walking amid this twisted world. However, in high office, upper crust people, of the ruling establishment, feed the reader insight to our rudely drawn hero, during private idol gossip or accountability appraisals. The plot of the story moves along nicely too, with good developing intrigue that held my attention. I'm assuming the period is around 1810 to 1820. The Napoleonic war is still going or just over. So we are in this time frame.

Its all put together wonderfully well with atmospheric descriptions of the run down city streets. These very streets, that are today; parts of the affluent West End. Its a bit like imagining Canary Wharf of Docklands before it was converted to a more affluent status.

The upper class gossip concerning the history of our 'frayed around the edges' Bow Street Runner comes in drips of dialogue and helps to form a gradual, more in depth picture, of our hard, modest, pony-tailed hero. All this high profile gossip and chatter is an added sideshow that is clever decoration for the first adventure of Matthew Hawkwood.

Ratcatcher is a terrific read and I look forward to reading other novels in this series. I would not be too surprised if we get a future TV series from this.
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