An Edwardian holiday from veteran Gilbert's distinguished contemporary procedurals (Roller-Coaster, 1994, etc.) pits rookie London copper Luke Pagan and his raffish mate, Joe Narrabone, against a coven of Russian provocateurs--revolutionaries bent on underwriting their insurrection against the Tsar with the proceeds of London thefts and the products of underground London industry. Walking a diplomatic tightrope between the rules of the police and Winston Churchill's Home Office, Luke agrees to keep an eye on a trio of sinister types whose underlings are more heavily armed, and more willing to shoot, than he'll ever be. There'll be fires, explosions, robberies, forgeries, and assorted lesser homicides before the renegade Russkies are brought to book. Gilbert has a pleasantly understated way with his boys'-adventure history, though sometimes you may wonder what's the point of all his blood without thunder.