A Foundation for Fallen Women. A chess automaton. An impossible theft.
Reluctant inspector of vice, Lawless must take a fruitless reckoning of London's shadowy nether world. Hypocrisy, double standards: just what we expect from stuffy Victorian society.
But Lawless was not expecting the trail that his questions open up: from the erotic booksellers of Holywell Street down the darkening passageways of Haymarket bordellos to backstreet cast-offs of the high life.
When reputations are at threat, those running the show can be merciless in defending them.
Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Lawless and the Flowers of Sin is the second novel in the series, but it can definitely stand alone. It is my first book from this author, so I am not familiar with his writing style.
The plot is set in Victorian London, in 1863. Inspector Campbell Lawless goes into the world of the people that we see every day, but we don't notice them at all. Beggars, street musicians, ladies in brothels, erotic booksellers, each one of them walks among us, but we don't see them. Or we choose not to see. But these people are alive and have stories to tell. Stories of their hard lives, destroyed dreams, broken wings.
The story is told from inspector's point of view. He is in the search of a missing person, tries to find the sellers of the forbidden erotic books, helps his favorite lady of the night to escape from the life she has. His investigation is full of emotional stories of destroyed lives of the people who live on the streets of London. Lawless is fascinated by their strength to survive and move on no matter what.
I liked the setting in Victorian London, liked the mystery and the detective himself. The lives of the prostitutes were described very vividly, their destinies were so emotional. Some of them were sold as young girls, some were slaves, some had debts to pay, some had children to feed. The life on the streets in Victorian London was no different than the one today.
What I didn't like here was the writing style. The chapters weren't well connected and the story was jumping from one plot to another. I didn't like the dialogues, the conversations weren't fluid. What seemed like a great book from the blurb, it turned out to be a very difficult story to read (at least for me). There were moments when I couldn't figure out what the main character was trying to do: find the missing person, help a prostitute, destroy or save the banned erotic books. I couldn't find the point of the story. It seemed to me like a bunch of events just thrown in to fill the blank space. Believe me, I am not trying to offend anyone here, just trying to say what I think. This is just my opinion.
My opinion: 3 / 5.