Friday, August 24, 2012

Season of Darkness by Maureen Jennings

In Season of Darkness, Tom Tyler is a detective inspector in Whitchurch in Shropshire in 1940. He's married to Vera, but a former lover has recently resurfaced and has him emotionally torn. When a Land Army girl (a young woman helping the farmers during the war) is found murdered, Tom is up for the challenge. In the nearby internment camp of Prees Heath, which is holding many German nationals, Tom finds a German psychiatrist willing to help solve the murder. Tyler must solve this one quickly before more young woman fall victim.

  I really enjoyed this book. I don't usually read books set in this time period, but I found this one fascinating. I learned lots about England, the war and the internment camps. The story and connections between the characters is complex, but Jennings does a great job of laying it all out for the reader. Also, she has the police reviewing the facts of the case frequently so that the reader has a chance to catch up if they happen to miss something. She is such a great storyteller.

In this first book of a planned trilogy, the author gives lots of information about the characters, including a little about Tyler's personal life with his wife, daughter and former lover. I really liked reading about his ennui with his life and his desires for some change.

The story were written from different points of view. I didn't always know who it was, though. I'm not sure if it was my failure to recognize them or if the author was purposely being vague. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this style.

Favourite quotes:
...the qualifications of a good policeman were the strength of a lion, eye sight of an eagle, tact of an ambassador; worldly knowledge of an undergrad; patience of a husband and the memory of a wronged wife. (page 208)
Jennings also writes the Murdoch Mysteries series. I've read Under the Dragon's Tail (my review). I think I liked that one a little more than this one, probably because of the TV series connection.

New words:
pillock (page 58): an offensive term that insults somebody's intelligence (UK)
dower house (page 155): landowner's widow's house (UK)
fifth columnist (page 193): secret or subversive group
plaice (page 228): large flat ocean fish
wool gathering (page 229): dreaming (I knew this one, but I love the term.)
soutane (page 263): cassock or priest's robe
perspicacity (page 291): acute perception
recce (page 308): same as reconnaissance
palliasses (page 364): straw-filled mattress

I also loved the term "chin wag" for conversation.

Highly recommended, especially for British mystery fans.

For more information about this book, please visit the McClelland & Stewart website.

For more information about the author, please visit Maureen Jennings's website.

I'd like to thank those nice people at Random House for this review copy.

Season of Darkness by Maureen Jennings, McClelland & Stewart (RandomHouse), ©2011. ISBN 9780771043253(Uncorrected proof), 398p.


  1. Sounds like a good one. Would you like to link it in to Books You Loved August edition? Have a great week.

  2. Marie the same thing applies here about the size of image, sorry. Cheers

  3. Thanks for the Warren Zecon reccommendation. Cheers


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