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The Black Hand (2008)

por Will Thomas

Séries: Barker & Llewelyn (5)

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2901592,869 (3.88)27
Fiction. Literature. Mystery. Historical Fiction. When an Italian assassin's body is found floating in a barrel in Victorian London's East End, enquiry agent Cyrus Barker and his assistant Thomas Llewelyn are called in to investigate. Soon corpses begin to appear all over London, each accompanied by a Mafia Black Hand note. As Barker and Llewelyn dig deeper, they become entangled in the vendettas of rival Italian syndicates-and it is no longer clear who is a friend or foe.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 15 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
I thoroughly enjoy this series. The stories are told from Llewelyn’s point of view – as if he is writing the stories from much later in his life. Llewelyn is a bit sarcastic and his quips are thoroughly entertaining – though they just pass right over Barker’s head. I came into the series late and read from my entry point through all of the later books and I’m now trying to read all of the earlier books. I love the main characters – Barker & Llewelyn – and the secondary characters are intriguing and fun to know.

Barker and Llewelyn are called to the docks on the Thames because a body was found floating in a barrel. It turns out that is a practice used by the Sicilian Mafia and the body belongs to a man named Serafini who is an assassin. The Mafia in London? At least one of the Mafia wants to expand their territory and they have decided to start with the London docks. Apparently, it will be up to Barker and Llewelyn to find the villain and put a stop to his plans.

It seems the villain is one step ahead and has begun causing harm to those Barker cares about. Those who stand in the villain's way receive a note with a warning and a black hand – and that is soon followed by a violent death. The government wants Barker’s help to eliminate the threat, but they also have tied his hands with what he can and cannot do. Finding the villain and eliminating the threat will definitely stretch even Barker’s inimitable skills.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and cannot wait to get into some of the others I’ve missed. While the stories have a progression to them – as shown in the lives and relationships of Barker and Llewelyn – the mysteries and the meat of the stories can easily be read out of sequence. Sometimes it is even fun to be reading an earlier book and know what is going to happen several books down the line.

I can definitely recommend this book and this series. The writing is excellent with strong plots that are perfectly paced. The characters are unique, refreshing, interesting, and definitely not your run-of-the-mill supporting cast. Happy Reading!!! ( )
  BarbaraRogers | Jan 22, 2023 |
The Mafia is inserting itself into the criminal underworld of Victoria London. Since Scotland Yard has been unable to put a halt to the Black Hand, Barker and LLewelyn step forward to put an end to the Mafia's trying to over the London docks. But at what cost? Llewelyn has already been in a knife fight with one member of this criminal element as well as the owner of an Italian restaurant has been murdered. Can the two crime fighters put an end to the Black Hand before more bodied pile up? An excellent Victorian London mystery. ( )
  lewilliams | Apr 8, 2021 |
Once again a masterful tale of mystery from Victorian times. Good strong characters and believable situations with the right kind of out comes. If you like mysteries you should rear this series from the start, you won't be disappointed. ( )
  Philip100 | Aug 26, 2016 |
This book was okay. Not as good as the books which preceded it in the series. The story starts off well with Barker and Llewelyn investigating three murders which are unique in the way they were carried out but the story then starts to come apart a bit. Nothing much happens for a good portion of the tale, with meetings between the characters and general build up to an ending which falls flat. I like the Barker & Llewelyn novels and wanted to like this book more than I did, but it feels the author ran out of ideas near the start and padded out the story until there was sufficient pages to call it a novel. Most of the way things were solved and explained seemed very convenient for the main characters to have solved. There's even a "getting out of London" passage that just didn't need to be in the novel at all. It gives me the feeling it was just to introduce Barkers "secret" lady friend and deepen the mystery surrounding him more. Maybe she appears in the next installment.

I'll continue to read this series. They are a quick read. But I'm really hoping this isn't a sign that the ideas have run dry and that the series is being used as a way of cadging a quick buck. ( )
  Arkrayder | Apr 17, 2016 |
Interesting installment of the Barker/Llewelyn private investigator series. This one dealt with the Mafia in Victorian London, something I never considered before. Looking forward to the next book. ( )
  Oodles | Feb 16, 2016 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 15 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Since most mysteries set in Victorian England tend to follow romantic traditions, the picturesquely gritty novels of Will Thomas serve as a bracing alternative.
adicionada por y2pk | editarNew York Times, Marilyn Stasio (Jul 27, 2008)
 

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Fiction. Literature. Mystery. Historical Fiction. When an Italian assassin's body is found floating in a barrel in Victorian London's East End, enquiry agent Cyrus Barker and his assistant Thomas Llewelyn are called in to investigate. Soon corpses begin to appear all over London, each accompanied by a Mafia Black Hand note. As Barker and Llewelyn dig deeper, they become entangled in the vendettas of rival Italian syndicates-and it is no longer clear who is a friend or foe.

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