"The Drowned Man", by David Whellams

The Drowned Man: A Peter Cammon Mystery - David Whellams
Book 2, in the Peter Cammon Mysteries

This second edition although part of a series can well be read on its own have no fear if you pick this one up first you will fall right into a dazzling game of cat and mouse that carries Peter from Canada to England to Washington and be swept away in one of those elaborate plot and a true spy adventure.

The twisting and complex drama effectively captures some aspect of police work and opens with Peter once again lured out of retirement to handle an assignment: accompanying the body of a murdered Scotland Yard officer from Montreal back to England. As expected things is never simple and soon everything spirals out of control and an investigation is launched.

As the game goes on, we are challenged with diverse threads that weave in and out: some incorporating bureaucratic infighting, some murders, others referring to Quebec’s separatist movement, some to the theft of letters from the Civil War Era signed by John Wilkes Booth. Mr. Whellams did not forget to include the wiretapping scandal and inducement to throw cricket matches in England to his heavy but captivating story and to spice the story even more we have Alice Nahri, a ruthless femme fatale, looming over the investigation…..

There is a lot to absorb in this novel and even more a plethora of players to keep track of. The author did not forget to stress the political and language atmosphere in Quebec. For that reason some may find the opening chapters to drag and the first quarter to be ponderous and frustrating. But when the perspective shifts the story develops its momentum and becomes fascinating. This novel is well-written, the narrative rich, the dialogue superb and the characterization outstanding.