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A Burden Shared: The Dundee Murders

By (author) Malcolm Archibald
Format: Paperback / softback
Publisher: Fledgling Press, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Published: 2nd Aug 2013
Dimensions: w 129mm h 198mm d 18mm
Weight: 306g
ISBN-10: 1905916590
ISBN-13: 9781905916597
Barcode No: 9781905916597
Set in Dundee, another Mendick mystery. When Sergeant Mendick is sent to Dundee to collect a prisoner, he expects a speedy return to London but instead an unfortunate turn of events see him retained to help solve a particularly gruesome murder. Within days Mendick finds himself leading the hunt for the mysterious China Jim who appears to control the criminal classes of Dundee through fear. Mendick's investigations take him from the curling rinks to the foul closes of the disregarded poor, and the bed of the enigmatic Johanna Lednock. More deaths follow and suspicion falls on a handful of men the elite of Dundee society, including Johanna's husband and Mr Gilbride, a local ship owner. Each murder involves apparent cannibalism, shocking even the war-hardened Mendick, who strives to find a connecting link. Dundee seems closed against him apart from the friendly Adam and Mrs Leslie, a prosperous couple who mourn the death of their seaman son. An attempt on Mendick's life convinces him he is nearing the truth, but only when a pawnbroker uncovers a watch stolen from one of the murdered men does Mendick begin to unravel the case.

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Reviews of The Darkest Walk Some may find Mendick's squeaky clean character far-fetched, but he wouldn't be the first improbably decent detective to win readers' hearts. In an afterword, Malcolm Archibald openly acknowledges that he has played fast and loose with historical fact. But his efforts to capture the miseries endured by the Victorian working classes ring true. In this story, squalor stalks every page. --The Skinny 22nd September 2011 It is difficult not to draw parallels between the author's style and that of John Buchan, and the pace with which the chase scene and subsequent train ride towards the end of the book unfold certainly brings back memories of some of the Hannay books.