Lawless and the House of Electricity
Plots. Secrets. Power.
The new drawing mistress feels inquisitive eyes upon her as she arrives to take up her post at a country house. Ex-street urchin Molly’s quickwitted candour earns her favour with the Earl’s family and guests, but the butler sees through her pose of gentility.
In London’s East End dockyards, a body is found in a lifeboat. But Sergeant Campbell Lawless is summoned to the government offices to weigh up a greater threat.
A gunpowder blast, a train derailed, an explosive ship. The shadow of European machinations looms over the capital, threatening royals and politicians. Lawless must investigate these explosions from the East End to Guernsey and Clerkenwell House of Detention to the English shires.
As Molly teaches the children, she suspects that darker secrets lurk in the gardens. The House of Roxbury, powered by the latest hydraulic contraptions, used to welcome a cavalcade of poets and magicians, explorers and cyclists, scientists and surgeons. Why does it now receive so few visitors? What made this industrial giant a recluse?
Experiments are conducted in the glasshouse laboratories. Molly uses her artistic licence to investigate the unseen forces running Roxbury House. The butler suspects her motives, as he guards the secret of the East Wing; until the diary of the late Lady Roxbury enlightens Molly of the house’s woes. What is the Earl’s sad secret – and the troubling plan for which these sacrifices have been made?
Who is orchestrating these blasts? As the mysterious corpse yields its secrets, Lawless must unravel the threads before dangerous powers fall into unruly hands.
“Who benefits financially when xenophobic panic seizes a nation? That’s the question Sergeant Campbell Lawless must ponder as a series of terrorist attacks in 1860s Britain is blamed on immigrant extremists. Another winning entry in another extraordinary series, with Sutton delivering a rich stew of satire, social history and adventure.” Mat Coward, Morning Star
“Lawless returns in a thrillingly complex tour de force, encompassing the breath-taking developments of the Victorian era, driven by a desire for social and political change. …an electrifying romp sure to dazzle fans of historical crime fiction.” Megan Kenny, The Book Bag
“The beauty of these books, for me, is not the plot but the way Victorian London is brought to life by having real life characters popping up from time to time which adds authenticity to the story. I also especially loved the excerpts from newspapers of the time and the wonderful adverts such as ‘Dr Tybalt’s Blood Tonic’ and ‘Pills for the Pale and Paralysed’. …Just brilliant. Long may Sergeant Lawless continue to find mysteries to solve.” Breakaway Reviewers
“Lawless and the House of Electricity is an exquisite mystery that will grip you from start to finish… The characters are rich and very likeable, especially the female characters who are shrewd, intelligent, and feisty in their own ways. …an exquisite mystery that will grip you from start to finish. I highly recommend it to historical mystery fans everywhere.” Books of All Kinds blog