Saturday, July 7, 2012

Highgate Rise by Anne Perry

Anne Perry is one of the authors I routinely look for at book sales, and so I read rather old titles such as this one from 1991.  I like her Thomas and Charlotte Pitt very much.  They are a loving couple who understand each other, and although Pitt is a cop and their income is low, Charlotte is originally from gentry and has family and friends from that class.  This gives them unusual access to people of all walks of life.  Charlotte "meddles" in Thomas' cases, but he values her input so unless she gets herself into a dangerous situation, he's fine with that.

This was definitely not my favorite novel in the series, but one wonderful thing about all of them is that the reader gets a bird's eye view of society customs, dress, and rigorous rules as well as the plight of the poor.  That's particularly true in this book where one character is determined to do something about the rich living off the exorbitant rents they receive from living quarters that are simply death traps.  The story begins with a huge house fire and that leads to descriptions of the uselessness of firefighting techniques of the time.  Vivid storytelling  of this kind is Perry's forte.

I grew impatient with the storylines in HIghgate Rise though.  Characters are questioned over and over by both Thomas and Charlotte, each character's personality and beliefs are gone over ad nauseum.  The story veers from one storyline to another and back again.  Although we do learn the identity of the killer in the end, there are multiple loose ends left which may or may not be tied up in following novels.  Since I read them out of order, I don't know.  I just felt like I'd been dropped off in the middle of London in the middle of the night without direction.

Not that this will stop me from searching for more unread titles by Perry.  Far from it.  I do enjoy most of her books and characters so I will continue to find them for a nice change of pace in my reading life.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think I've ever read Anne Perry's work and I have the feeling I've confused her with another author through the years.