The Invisible Code

The Invisible Code

Book - 2013
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"When a young woman is found dead in the pews of St. Bride's Church--alone and showing no apparent signs of trauma--Arthur Bryant assumes this case will go to the Peculiar Crimes Unit, an eccentric team tasked with solving London's most puzzling murders. Yet the city police take over the investigation, and the PCU is given an even more baffling and bewitching assignment. Called into headquarters by Oskar Kasavian, the head of Home Office security, Bryant and May are shocked to hear that their longtime adversary now desperately needs their help. Oskar's wife, Sabira, has been acting strangely for weeks--succumbing to violent mood swings, claiming an evil presence is bringing her harm--and Oskar wants the PCU to find out why ... When a second bizarre death reveals a surprising link between the two women's cases, Bryant and May set off on a trail of clues from the notorious Bedlam hospital to historic Bletchley Park. And as they are drawn into a world of encrypted codes and symbols, concealed rooms and high-society clubs, they must work quickly to catch a killer who lurks even closer than they think."--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Bantam Books, 2013
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780345528650
0345528654
9780345539588
Branch Call Number: FICTION Fow
Description: 351 pages ; 22 cm

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w
wyenotgo
Jan 18, 2018

This was my first exposure to the Peculiar Crimes Unit series and I have to say it was a wild ride. Fowler has created one of the most outrageous, bizarre murder sequences I've ever encountered. This penchant for devising arcane methods of (and motives for) offing people appears to be a uniquely British inclination (as also demonstrated by the Midsomer Murders series we get here on PBS). I found the tale quite engaging despite having to crank my "suspension of disbelief" mechanism to its maximum setting. Apart from Fowler's depiction of venomously stratified British class warfare, almost nothing in this book has a shed of credibility -- which makes it all the more fun.
A couple of minor complaints: Fowler's PCU includes ten members, including Crippen the cat. He has made a valiant attempt to develop the characters of the two lead detectives but they would have benefited from more attention (which, in all fairness might have been accomplished in earlier books in the series, so perhaps I should go back and read #1 before commenting further). But more troublesome was that none of the other team members stood out; I found myself continually referring back to the list at the front of the book to remember who they were. I feel that any character a writer intends to bring back more than once needs to be drawn more completely.
Taken all together, the book was a refreshing bit of nonsense, a welcome relief from some of the dour tales I've read recently.

a
anndubois1
Mar 03, 2017

My first Bryant and May "Peculiar Crimes Unit" mystery but it will not be my last. A well drawn, eccentric cast of characters and a plot that moves along quickly. Laugh out loud humorous at times. If you want an engaging read which does not take itself too seriously but is well written, I would recommend.

1
1_Great_Book
Oct 28, 2014

I recently discovered Fowler and am devouring this series. Peculiar is the correct word.

He's right up there on par with Alan Bradley as far as eccentric characters go.

Mysterious occurrences in England, dusty old figures, mouldering buildings, facts and legends shrouded in the mists of time - satisfaction guaranteed!

d
dexluce
Apr 05, 2014

I love this series! Another great Bryant and May mystery that involves all kinds of characters and takes them all over London. (I now want to go to London in the summer, even though I have no murder to solve and don't like rain).

bookfanatic1979 Jan 14, 2014

Every so often there’s a book that’s clearly a cut above the usual creativity most fictional writers display on a regular basis. The murderer’s MO is by far the most original I’ve read in years. Even the red herring was well done and completely believable (to me, at least). Absolutely brilliant all around. I can’t wait to see the next book in the series.

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