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John Lawton’s debut novel-first published by Viking in 1995, and now being reissued by Grove Press-is a stunning, war-time thriller that cements his place among the greatest crime writers of our era. The first of the Inspector Troy novels, Black Out singularly captures the realities of wartime London, weaving them into a riveting drama that encapsulates the uncertainty of Europe at the dawn of the postwar era.

London, 1944. While the Luftwaffe makes its final assault on the already battered British capital, Londoners rush through the streets, seeking underground shelter in the midst of the city’s black out. When the panic subsides, other things begin to surface along with London’s war-worn citizens. A severed arm is discovered by a group of children playing at an East End bomb site, and when Scotland Yard’s Dective Sergeant Frederick Troy arrives at the scene, it becomes apparent that the dismembered body is not the work of a V-1 rocket. After Troy manages to link the severed arm to the disappearance of a refugee scientist form Nazi Germany, America’s newest intelligence agency, the OSS, decides to get involved. The son of a titled Russian émigré, Troy is forced to leave the London he knows and enter a corrupt world of bloody consequences, stateless refugees, and mysterious women as he unearths a chain of secrets leading straight to the Allied high command.

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Black Out
Average rating
3.5 / 5
Great read
March 23rd, 2015
Excellent storytelling. Completely immersive and to think that the book is over numerous years. Recommended
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1 review
British WWII murder mystery
June 18th, 2014
Enjoyable read - historical period of Britain during WWII well done.
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1 review

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