Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Thief Taker by T.F. Banks

The Thief Taker

The Thief Taker
by T.F. Banks

Mass Market Paperback: 325 pages
Publisher: Bantam Dell
First Released: 2001

Source: Bought from

Back Cover Blurb:
June 1815. When Henry Morton is called to the scene at Portman House in Claridge Square, the Bow Street constable finds a man dead in a hackney coach--ostensibly of asphyxiation. He was Halbert Glendinning, a gentleman of unsullied character. Then why was he seen frequenting one of London’s most notorious dens of iniquity? And why has the driver of the coach vanished into the night?

While Sir Nathaniel Conant, the chief magistrate at Number 4 Bow Street, accepts the official verdict of accidental death, Morton is certain that Glendinning was a victim of foul play. With the help of actress Arabella Malibrant, one of London’s most celebrated beauties, he embarks on his own discreet inquiry. And as the upper circles of London society close ranks against him, Morton races to unmask a killer whose motives are as complex and unfathomable as the passions that rule the human heart.

This historical mystery is set in 1815. Henry Morton is a Bow Street Runner (a.k.a. cop) who works with his mistress to solve both a murder and a theft. Most of Morton's problems stem from the "thief taking" system in place at the time, and the world-building of the historical time period is excellent.

The pacing was good, and the characters were interesting. The sex all occured 'off page.' Overall, I'd recommend this as "a good, clean fun" novel.

Excerpt: Chapter One

Morton had all but finished dressing, and was basking in the glow of warmth and well-being, albeit moderated by a few stinging bruises, that followed his remarkable evening at Jackson's [boxing club].

"Mr. Morton...sir?" a voice said breathlessly.

Morton looked up to find a boy, gasping in the doorway as through in the throes of an asthmatical convulsion.

"Henry Morton, yes."

"I've run all the way, sir..." the child managed. "'Tis Mrs. Malinbrant...Asks that you come directly." A few desperate breaths were needed. "I'm to say 'tis most urgent, sir. Most terrible urgent."

Morton tossed aside a towel. "Nothing has befallen Mrs. Malibrant, I hope?"

"Oh, no, Mr. Morton. 'Tis the gentleman, sir. The young gentleman who just arrived at Lord Arthur's." The boy straightened a little and shook his head. "He appears to be dead, sir. Most thoroughly dead."

1 comment:

Kimber An said...

Great review! I noticed you linked to Enduring Romance as a 'Follower,' so I added Genre Review to our list of links to book review sites. It's always good to have another blogger around to help readers find the books they'll love!