The Invisible Code
By Christopher Fowler
(Bantam Books, Hardcover, 9780345528650, 351pp.)
Publication Date: December 17, 2013
List Price: $26.00*
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London’s craftiest and boldest detectives, Arthur Bryant and John May, are back in this deviously twisting mystery of black magic, madness, and secrets hidden in plain sight.
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. And if there’s any duo that can deduce the method behind her madness, it’s the indomitable Bryant and May.
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.
Witty, suspenseful, and ingeniously plotted, The Invisible Code is Christopher Fowler at the very top of his form.
Praise for The Invisible Code
“Delightful . . . priceless dialogue . . . Fowler’s small but ardent American following deserves to get much larger. . . . The Invisible Code has immense charm. . . . Fowler creates a fine blend of vivid descriptions, . . . quick thinking and artful understatement. . . . Best of all are the two main characters, particularly Bryant, whose fine British stodginess is matched perfectly by the agility of his crime-solving mind.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times
“Excellent . . . In the light of the challenges that Fowler has given his heroes in prior books, it’s particularly impressive that he manages to surpass himself once again.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Praise for the ingenious novels featuring the Peculiar Crimes Unit
“Witty, charming, intelligent, wonderfully atmospheric and enthusiastically plotted.”—The Times (UK)
“A series of narratives that exert an Ancient Mariner–like grip on the reader . . . Christopher Fowler is something of a British national treasure.”—Crime Time
“Quirky, ingenious and quite brilliant . . . If you haven’t indulged you are really missing out. . . . Wonderful, gently humorous stuff, so clever.”—The Bookseller
“A brilliant series of impossible crime novels.”—The Denver Post
“Grumpy Old Men does CSI with a twist of Dickens! Bryant and May are hilarious. I love this series.”—Karen Marie Moning
“An example of what Christopher Fowler does so well, which is to merge the old values with the new values—reassuring, solid, English, and traditional. He’s giving us two for the price of one here.”—Lee Child