Having enjoyed, The Strangler Vine, I was really looking forward to reading this novel. My excitement over another Avery and Blake mystery was short-lived.
I feel like the author could do away with Avery and the book would have been much better. I think I would much rather read a mystery featuring Blake by himself than have to deal with Avery bumbling along for 300+ pages. There was no character development. Any chemistry that the two men may have developed in the first novel had completely disappeared. I did take into account the fact that this book is set three years and several events after the first novel. After a while I was sick of being hit of the head with the fact that Avery and Blake come from two different parts of society. I get it. They are different. That much was obvious from the first book. Avery is like a terrible miscast in a big Hollywood movie. Like Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson in the Spiderman movie.
The only think that drove me to the end of this book was the author's ability to create atmosphere. I was so intrigued by the Victorian London setting Carter created. The atmosphere combined with the political intrigue is what got me to the finish line. Had the mystery been less complex and politically charged, I do not think I could have finished.