Against a backdrop of political unrest, a multiple murderer wreaks havoc in post–World War I Britain.
October 1921. Shots are fired outside the residence of Lord Amersham’s home in Regent’s Park. When Scotland Yard DCI Paul Stark arrives with his sergeant, Robert Danvers, he’s confronted by a furious Winston Churchill, Secretary of State for the Colonies. Three bullets found their mark, indicating that the killer was an experienced gunman. Amersham’s vocal opposition to both the British Communist Party and the fight for Irish independence made him the target of many. Suspicion naturally falls on charismatic Irish Republican Army leader Michael Collins, who at first bristles under Stark’s questions but ultimately offers his assistance. As Danvers tangles with Lady Amelia Fairfax, a childhood friend who’s now a Communist sympathizer and sponsor, Stark shakes loose the name of a suspect, hotheaded Daniel Harker, whose gun doesn’t match the murder weapon. The contentious relationship Amersham had with Danvers’ parents provides awkward complications. Should the sergeant protect his family or come clean with his boss? A second, equally efficient murder intensifies the urgency of the investigation. Kind, gentle MP Tobias Smith, shot in his home, was very different from Amersham, reportedly having no enemies. A group calling itself “The Hand of Justice” takes credit for the murders in a threatening letter to the press. Who could they be?
Besides providing interesting nuggets of history, Eldridge depicts his lead characters with complexity and compassion, auguring well for this series kickoff.