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The Peculiar Crimes Unit is a controversial branch of the London Police Department that takes on cases that are just a bit too “off” for the regular police to cope with. Arthur Bryant and John May, the grumpy old men of criminal investigation, have been with the PCU since its inception. May is down-to-earth; Bryant is a cantankerous loner whose acquaintances tend to be mystics, psychics, and Wiccans. Still, they get things done. But with budgets stretched thin, the PCU is looking like less of a necessity. And Bryant and May aren’t helping matters by investigating cases brought to them by friends—May pokes around in the affairs of a disgraced academic and Bryant looks into the death of a little old lady. But the old lady was found drowned in her bone-dry basement. And May’s down-on-his-luck scholar is being paid big money to explore London’s ancient underground river system. With dogged determination, curmudgeonly charm, and good old-fashioned detecting, the duo finds a compelling mystery with a solution that lies deep underground. The Water Room is author Christopher Fowler’s second PCU novel and he is in fine form. There’s plenty of mystery, intrigue, and dark humor, but the real heart of the story is the spirited relationship between the indomitable Bryant and May.
posted Nov 23, 2010 at 7:50PM
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