It has been several years since I sat down to read an Anne Perry novel. Formerly, I was a fan of her books featuring Thomas and Charlotte Pitt. Now, I have rediscovered the crime solving duo in Perry’s novels featuring Daniel Pitt, son of Charlotte and Thomas. Daniel is a twenty six year old junior barrister with the fford Croft legal Chambers of London and shares his parents’ talent for investigation. As ever, the fates of family and history are inextricably intertwined in this spell binder from Anne Perry. I have some catching up to do with the Daniel Pitt Series, including: Twenty One Days, Triple Jeopardy, and One Fatal Flaw.
The setting is London in May of 1911. Europe is a social tinderbox. Germany may very well turn nasty. Thomas Pitt is head of the Special Branch at the British Home Office. His duties include investigation into spies, anarchists and traitors. As an island nation, Britain is focused on rebuilding the Royal Navy in order to stay ahead of Germany. It is not Edwardian England anymore. History has moved on to the reign of King George V.
Perry artfully transports her reader into the time and place her characters occupy. Historical details and intricate descriptions of locations are instrumental in the intrigue of finding yourself in the story. Her descriptions are evident everywhere, from the seedy location of Mile End, near White Chapel, to the comfort of the Pitt family kitchen (tea and toast).
3 families in Anne Perry’s Death With a Double Edge
Three families are traced and intertwined throughout the story:
- The Pitt family – law and justice
- The fford Croft family – respected law chamber
- The Faber family – shipbuilding magnets
Each family must contemplate the question of why respected barrister, Jonah Drake (of fford Croft chambers), was murdered in Mile End. Drake’s involvement with each family is critical.
All three fathers are powerful players in London:
- Thomas Pitt – knowledge, connections to police and government and nearly forty years of increasing influence and reputation.
- Marcus fford Croft – head of successful London Chambers with access to case files
- Erasmus Faber – immense wealth / power/ building up the Royal Navy
However, the younger generation of Daniel Pitt, Miriam fford Croft and Evan Faber define the story.
Power plays in government and law enforcement add intrigue to the resolution of crime. Class inequality in English society is apparent. Charlotte Pitt expresses her disgust –
Beginning with the murder of Marie Wesley and subsequent trial of Evan Faber for murder, this story unfolds. Three more murders in two and a half weeks keep things moving. Throw in a kidnapping to keep it from slowing down. Daniel ponders the fragility of life –
Will Daniel’s devotion to justice be the undoing of his entire life, and endanger Britain’s defense at sea? This artfully spun web will keep you turning pages.