It is 1949. London has endured the war but is plagued by hardship. "The Smoke" remains tarnished with shattered, abandoned buildings and bombsites. It is a world fueled by coal and driven by steam. Soap is still on ration; fresh meat of any kind is as well. Butter on the black market costs thirty shillings a pound. Life's little luxuries-be it bed sheets or pantyhose or tins of peaches-have the scarcity value of the Crown Jewels. It's the perfect backdrop for Jethro—honest Cockney cat burglar, jewelry thief extraordinaire, womanizer, and rogue—to redistribute the wealth of the upper classes.
The day after thieving jewels from a mansion, headlines scream that the very man Jethro robbed was found dead after falling from the balcony of his home. It's deemed a homicide when the jewels are discovered missing, and Jethro sets off on a search through London's dark underworld to find out who is trying to frame him. Driven by a caustic, unforgettable voice, Shadows in the Smoke is a wonderfully entertaining and evocative read that touches upon police corruption at the very highest levels and the politics of London.
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October 09, 2012
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