is your source for affordable electronic fiction


Powered by FreeFind

Site search
Web search

    Review of FULL DARK HOUSE by Christopher Fowler (see his website)


    Bantam, 2003 (U.S. June 2004)

    World War II rages and London shudders under the blitz, but the public must be assured that things are normal, that crime doesn't pay, and that the police are on the job. One police group, the Peculiar Crimes Unit is established to handle the odd and different cases and staffed by one of the most peculiar of England's police--Arthur Bryant. When new detective John May joins, the two set off in search of a body missing its feet and discover a theater production set to explode.

    With a modern wrapper centered around a bombing that destroys the Peculiar Crimes building and survivor John May's attempts to make sense of his partner's death--a death that seems linked to their first case together, FULL DARK HOUSE spends most of its time in the past--when May and Bryant were young, when censors could still close down plays for showing too much of a chorus-girl's thighs, and when people could lose themselves in London and only be found when they decided themselves.

    Author Christopher Fowler combines straightforward police procedural investigation with a bit of mysticism, numerous allusions to classical mythology, and a strange theater that truly becomes a character in this strange story. May and Bryant's differences (May is logical, Bryant a believer in the occult) deepens their partnership and allows the two of them to argue their way to a solution to the strange crimes. Because the severed feet are only the beginning of the deaths associated with this play.

    I thought FULL DARK HOUSE went a little slowly from time to time and I'm still not sure that the modern 'wrapper' added a lot to the story, but May, Bryant, their unfortunate love lives, and the oddly haunted theater add up to solid entertainment.

    See more reviews of mysteries by Christopher Fowler.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 8/12/04

    Ready to buy it now? Click the buy now button.

    Visit to read more reviews or to purchase FULL DARK HOUSE from

    Buy the eBook version from

    What do you think? Too generous? Too stingy? Or did I miss the entire point? Send your comments to Give me the okay to use your name and I'll publish all the comments that fit (and don't use unprintable language).

    Have a web site? Check out these free services.

    Check out the Alexa toolbar. It blocks pop-ups (you get to choose), it's free, and it tells you about what websites are popular and who owns them.