Crime series set in London during the Blitz

Mike Hollow has written a series of books about his police detective John Jago who lives in London in WW2. The Canning Town Murder is the second of the series and I have read the first at some time, although not recently.

Whilst the Blitz rages people’s lives go on and so too does death. When a body is found in a recently bombed house it turns out to be that of a young woman who worked in a company undertaking secret work for the government. When her death is determined to be murder Jago has to discover whether the death was personal or connected with her employment. This means that he has to follow up all sorts of leads and we see lots of different aspects of London at war.

This is a good historical crime novel with lots of red herrings and a satisfactory ending which ties everything up although it perhaps involves a coincidence too far. The author makes the best of his background and the time period and is, as far as I can make out, accurate with his history. It is interesting how some characters reflect an admiration for Hitler and some want peace at any price. There is much excitement at the idea of a “fifth column” and a number of characters come under suspicion of selling secrets to the Germans. The police are thorough and the author gives Jago the beginnings of a romance with an American journalist.

If you like an historical crime novel then it’s worth considering this series.

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