A Burden Shared: The Dundee Murders

Malcolm Archibald explores more of Victorian Scotland in Sergeant Mendick’s second novel A Burden Shared: The Dundee Murders. A Burden Shared: The Dundee Murders Following on from his adventures in A Burden Shared: The Darkest Walk, Sergeant Mendick is sent to Dundee to collect a prisoner and expects a speedy return to London. Instead, an unfortunate turn of events sees 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. However more deaths follow and suspicion falls on a handful of men who are the elite of Dundee society, including Johanna’s husband and Mr Gilbride, a local ship owner. Each murder appears to involve 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. Read the Undiscovered Scotland review here : http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/usreviews/books/fledglingburden.html

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