Princes Gate Kindle Edition
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More About the Author
He is the creator of DCI Frank Merlin, an Anglo-Spanish police detective operating in World War 2 London. His books treat the reader to a vivid portrait of London during the war skilfully blended with gripping plots, political intrigue and a charismatic protagonist.
Mark grew up under the shadow of his parents' experience of the Second World War. His father served in the wartime navy and died a young man. His mother told him stories of watching the heavy bombardment of Swansea from the safe vantage point of a hill in Llanelli, and of attending tea dances in wartime London under the bombs and doodlebugs.
In consequence Mark has always been fascinated by WW2 and in particular the Home Front and the fact that while the nation was engaged in a heroic endeavour, crime flourished. Murder, robbery, theft and rape were rife and the Blitz provided scope for widespread looting.
This was an intriguing, harsh and cruel world. This is the world of DCI Frank Merlin.
He is a member of the Crime Writers Association.
Top Customer Reviews
Thanks to first time author Mark Ellis, I encourage him to follow quickly with more adventures of Frank Merlin.
Mr. Ellis has created an interesting hero, Frank Merlin, who is investigating two murders that have common threads- they all lead back to the American Embassy which, at the time, is headed by Joseph Kennedy, father of JFK.
Mr. Kennedy was a man with a shadowy past and questionable friends. He was not the only one in this book with secrets, intrigues and scandals. As Merlin and his team unravel the sordid mess, he finds a spider's web of sleaze and slime from Soho to the highest ranks. This is a good story that builds nicely and even has a rather satisfying resolution for one of the nastier characters.
Merlin is an interesting character as are his supporting cast at the Yard. Since this is a first book, let's hope we can catch up with our hero again in future efforts.
This book is dripping with fog and dampness. It completely captures the ambiance of the location.
This was the first book I have read from Mark Ellis, but you don't need to read books in order to be able to follow the characters or plot lines, and I always appreciate that.
I also appreciate the way the author addresses the sensitive issues in this story.
However, it just didn't quite come together for me in the end. I'm not sure I can exactly put my finger on what kept this from good from good to great. Perhaps it's the way the story wraps up in the end, it really seems like a rewrite of an original, slightly darker ending.
The feelings of political unease and uncertainty for those in Britain waiting to see how Germany would move against them is very well depicted in this novel. Watching the police proceed with their investigations gave me a feeling of what a strange limbo citizens were in and how confusing it must have been to understand the political maneuvering of officials, both foreign and British. It was an interesting addition to have the author include American Ambassador Joseph Kennedy's efforts to influence decisions made at this time. I also enjoyed meeting the main character who had the added dimension of being the son of a Spanish sheep shepherd which made him a little different from the usual depiction of a Scotland Yard policeman.
I received an ARC of this novel through NetGalley. The opinions expressed are my own.
Blackout restrictionsare responsible for a sharp increase in crime as those who committed their ilicit acts using the cover of darkness find these persuits less risky and more profitable. Detective Chief Inspector Frank Merlin is working harder, with more cases and less help as other officers are leaving to join the British Expeditionary Force in France.
The young woman's case is now joined by the murder of a young man who knew her. Are the murders connected? As the investigations are stalled, there are even more complications making DCI Merlin's life more difficult. There may be some very important people involved so he must tread carefully.
The book is full of people telling lies, rumors of foreign intrigue, vice and even more murders just to make things interesting. This book has it all. It is well written with great character development and set in a time that becomes strangely familiar as we are drawn into the tale. There are plot twists and surprises on almost every page. The story moves alomg quickly and you don't want to blink because you might miss an important clue. The book ultimately reaches a series of sometimes surprising but generally satisfying conclusions addressing all the questions that have arisen, (well, at least most of them).. For a first novel, this is an impressive effort. I look forward to reading future offerings by this author. I was provided an advance review copy by the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Pre-War Blackout London is a hot-bed of crime and intrigue. DCI Frank Merlin, investigating a series of linked murders, picks his way through an intricate web of deceit and... Read morePublished 26 days ago by K Cowdall
What a brilliant book! This is not normally my genre of choice - in fact I can hardly remember the last time I read a crime novel - but Mark Ellis is now firmly at the top of my... Read morePublished 6 months ago by RLH
This is a strongly-plotted detective mystery set in London at the beginning of WW II. An interesting twist is the involvement of US ambassador at the time--meaning Joseph... Read morePublished 7 months ago by MFD in SC
Interesting intrigue in 1940 London including Ambassador Joe KennedyPublished 8 months ago by Donna Jaye
I love books about WWII before and during. This takes place in London before the Blitz. I found it engrossing, especially since there are real people mixed in with the fictional... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Jeri Schatz
Very good first-in-a-series set in London during the onset of WW2. Background history is exceptionally well developed and the information is appropriate for the plot. Read morePublished 9 months ago by james d. thomas
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