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The Language of the Dead: A World War II Mystery Paperback – 12 July 2016

4.0 out of 5 stars 39 ratings

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Product details

  • Paperback : 256 pages
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1681771489
  • ISBN-10 : 1681771489
  • Product Dimensions : 15.24 x 2.03 x 22.86 cm
  • Publisher : Pegasus Books (12 July 2016)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.0 out of 5 stars 39 ratings

Product description

Review

Charles Todd fans will welcome Kelly's first novel, a superior whodunit set in WWII England. Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Lamb, who's haunted by his experiences in WWI, is a complex lead meriting further outings.

Chief Inspector Thomas Lamb investigates the brutal killing of an old man, the subject of a demoniacal local legend, while the Battle of Britain rages in the skies above the English countryside. Haunted by memories of the First World War reignited by the incessant air combat, Lamb follows a twisted trail of evidence including an emotionally disturbed boy's cryptic drawings. The investigation uncovers dark secrets that connect the victim's death to a series of murders. Filled with believable, psychologically complex characters in a vividly evoked historical setting, this superbly written, suspenseful mystery keeps the reader guessing from the very beginning to a startling conclusion.--Gary Inbinder, author of The Devil in Montmartre

Fans of well-researched historical mysteries, particularly the work of Charles Todd and Charles Finch, will welcome this solid debut that introduces a complex, driven hero who is both a product of his time and relatable in our modern age. Here's hoping this will be the first of many installments featuring the endearing Lamb.

Kelly transports his reader fully and with convincing authenticity to a different time and place. They just happen to be a time of war and a place of darkness and menace--and once he's got you there, he spins his web of intrigue with expert ease. Superb stuff!--Craig Russell, international bestselling author of the Fabel and Lennox thriller series

Kelly's strong writing weaves these diverse strands into a cohesive whole. The novel vividly evokes the era and setting. I greatly enjoyed this story and look forward to reading more of Inspector Lamb's cases in the future. Recommended.

The crusty Lamb is a well-conceived character, but what makes the novel work is Kelly's portrait of the village and the almost palpable sense of menace that comes from the possibility of a Nazi invasion.

A fine-grained first novel.

Kelly does a good job of juxtaposing the subtle ways the tensions of the crimes combine in all the characters with the tensions of the times. A very promising debut.

Kelly fantastically recreates the claustrophobic mood of England under siege with period details.

Readers of the wonderful Charles Todd series will recognize the premise of a former soldier-turned-cop affected by the war but debut novelist Stephen Kelly makes this novel both reassuring and fresh. Vivid. Readers will look forward to spending more time with these characters.

About the Author

Stephen Kelly is an award-winning writer, reporter, editor and newspaper columnist. His work has appeared in the Baltimore Sun, The Washington Post and Baltimore Magazine. He has a Master of Arts degree from the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars and has taught writing and journalism at Hopkins, Towson University, in Baltimore, and Sweet Briar College, in Virginia. He lives in Columbia, Maryland.

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Top review from Australia

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Reviewed in Australia on 23 March 2015
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Top reviews from other countries

Compulsive reader
3.0 out of 5 stars Bit of a cheat
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 24 August 2015
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3 people found this helpful
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Sam
5.0 out of 5 stars Great entertainment
Reviewed in Canada on 10 June 2015
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2 people found this helpful
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gammyjill
4.0 out of 5 stars Murders in wartime...
Reviewed in the United States on 23 March 2015
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29 people found this helpful
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Diana E. Smith
3.0 out of 5 stars Good plot, too many Americanisms
Reviewed in the United States on 17 October 2016
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15 people found this helpful
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Janet Nail
5.0 out of 5 stars Crime still goes on, despite war
Reviewed in the United States on 20 September 2020
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