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Long Spoon Lane (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt Novels) Hardcover – Deckle Edge, March 29, 2005

57 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Carnage comes early in Perry's engrossing Victorian historical, the follow-up to Seven Dials (2003), when Special Branch investigator Thomas Pitt is summoned in the middle of the night to the aftermath of a bombing, the work of unknown anarchists intent on wreaking havoc in London in revenge for high-level police corruption. The chase leads to the group's lair in an abandoned building along grimy Long Spoon Lane, where the body of Magnus Landsborough, son of a well-connected lord, raises disturbing questions about both the young man's association with the underground cell and police procedures to combat terrorists. Pitt and fellow detective Victor Narraway soon find themselves up against a powerful secret society known as the Inner Circle. True-to-life parliamentary debate ensues over how much power police should be granted to quash the anarchist threat to Queen and country. The action slows when myriad characters, including wives, servants and politicians, hold excessively detailed discussions of the case, but the pace picks up with a spirited pursuit through London and across the Thames. Perry manages to paint a convincing historical backdrop with echoes of modern-day fears of urban terrorism.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Greed, revenge, loyalty, justice, and a thirst for power each play a role in the latest Charlotte and Thomas Pitt adventure, which, like its predecessors, draws much of its intensity from nineteenth-century London's social and political climate. The city is in an uproar. Anarchists have set off a bomb to protest police shakedowns in a working-class neighborhood, and one of their own, the son of a Parliament member, has been shot to death. Finding out who killed the young radical and why falls to Thomas, now working for Special Branch, but to succeed he must join forces with the ruthless Charles Voisey; his old Bow Street friend Sergeant Tellman; and wise, socially connected Aunt Vespasia. Arguments about broadening police powers as a reaction to terrorist activity can't help but strike a chord with American readers, who will appreciate the cleverly orchestrated political machinations as much as the personal agendas--both of which come fully into play when it comes to solving the mystery. Stephanie Zvirin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

This Book Is Bound with "Deckle Edge" Paper
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Product Details

  • Series: Charlotte & Thomas Pitt Novels
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (March 29, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345469275
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345469274
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #782,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Anne Perry is the bestselling author of two acclaimed series set in Victorian England: the William Monk novels, including Dark Assassin and The Shifting Tide, and the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels, including The Cater Street Hangman, Calandar Square, Buckingham Palace Gardens and Long Spoon Lane. She is also the author of the World War I novels No Graves As Yet, Shoulder the Sky, Angels in the Gloom, At Some Disputed Barricade, and We Shall Not Sleep, as well as six holiday novels, most recently A Christmas Grace. Anne Perry lives in Scotland.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Ellis Bell VINE VOICE on June 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This was another one of those books which I couldn't put down- to use the cliche. But I admit that this latest Charlotte and Thomas Pitt mystery had me hooked.

Like the other books in this series, the plot centers on the historical and political climate of 1893. The city of London, from the highest people in society, are brought to life here, and often, unexpectedly, rub shoulders (for instance, grand dame Lady Vespasia Cumming-Gould eating in the kitchen at the Pitt house). What I found truly amazing was the way in which Perry, yet again, was able to make these interactions seem ordinary.

The action of this story begins in Myrdle Street, where a row of houses is blown up. The police, including Special Branch and Thmas Pitt, follow a group of men to a house in Long Spoon Lane, where a shoot out commences- ending with one dead body and an injured constable. The dead man, the son of a figure in society, appears to have been deeply involved in an anarchy plot.

However, as Perry constantly proves to her readers, nothing is ever as it seems, and soon it becomes apparent that the bomb was intended for a police officer who had been involved in some localized police corruption. Pitt investigates and finds that this corruption stretches to all levels of the police force- all the way up to Commander Wetron of the Bow Street Police Force, where Pitt worked for a time. Wetron is angling to make himself the most powerful man in England by passing several reform bills in parliament which will give police the right to search people's houses and questions their servants- with their permission. If this bill is passed, it will mean the end of personal freedom.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on March 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
By the summer of 1893, the English have become concerned with the bombing activities of the Anarchists who set explosions recently in London and Paris. A tip has come into the Special Branch, whose mission is to stop terrorists, claiming a bomb is set to go off in East London. Special Branch Chief Victor Narraway and Agent Thomas Pitt rush to the area; they capture two of the bombers. A third, a parliament member's son, is killed.

Pitt investigates the crime in an effort to learn who murdered the third prisoner. As he conducts an internal investigationt of the affairs of his office and the police as a whole, Pitt uncovers vast corruption with Bow Street Inspector Wetron of Bow Street seemingly as the untouchable chieftain protected by the highest levels of government. Meanwhile the media goes on a feeding frenzy demanding the arming of Bobbies and invoking patriotism insisting more power granted to law enforcement to intimidate suspected terrorists. Only a devil's deal with his enemy Sir Charles Voisey might stop Wetron from taking advantage of the public fervor, which seems to make this mastermind even more potent and deadly.

Highly regarded for her terrific historical mysteries, Anne Perry may have written her most relevant late nineteenth century police procedural in LONG SPOON LANE. The story line is action-packed from the moment the two Special Branch cops race to Myrdle Street to prevent a bombing and never slows down as the hero learns how deep corruption and greed extend in the force. Charlotte, Pitt's wife, plays a lesser role than she did in SEVEN DIALS, but no one will mind as the parallels of 1893 England to modern America is uncanny.

Harriet Klausner
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By R. E Westgard on May 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Inspector Pitt returns for an exciting adventure in Victorian England. I won't rehash the plot others have covered. This story benefits from the strengthened relationship of Pitt with his two principal colleagues, Sergeant Tellman and Superintendent Narraway. Pitt and Tellman finally become a real team founded on mutual respect. And the rough edged Narraway softens a bit, avoiding the hackneyed nasty boss syndrome of so many police procedurals.

The underlying theme of the conflict between domestic terrorism and homeland security excesses is credible, timely, and well handled here. It is also based on fact, as Anarchy was a major threat in late 19th Century Europe.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover
One early summer night in 1893, Victor Narraway, the head of Special Branch, awakens Thomas Pitt with an urgent message: There is a bomb threat from unknown anarchists. Racing to the scene, they find people being evacuated and explosions tearing buildings apart.

Narraway and Pitt chase after fleeing suspects and end up in the tenements at Long Spoon Lane. Pitt, new to the Special Branch, feels clumsy. He finds himself in a huge gunfight and shooting at a fellow human for the very first time.

Inside the building they find two live anarchists and one dead man, Lord Landsborough's only son, Magnus. It's obvious to Pitt that because of the dead man's position, the police couldn't have shot Magnus Landsborough. Did his fellow anarchists kill him? Or was it an escaping murderer who was neither a policeman nor an anarchist?

When Pitt questions one of the imprisoned anarchists about the motive for the bombing, he exclaims --- with great passion and terror --- that it was in protest over the corrupt police force. His accusations of evil, vicious, greedy policemen encompass the region covered by Pitt's old station. Surely things have not gone so wrong in the year since he left? The anarchist's claim eats away at Pitt. The morality of the organization he has spent his adult life serving is at stake.

While the anarchists accuse a policeman of shooting Landsborough, the police believe that a fellow anarchist was the murderer. Pitt puts himself in mortal danger in order to delve into this mystery as well as the distressing question of the corrupt police.
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