Bryant & May - Strange Tide Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
The Thames is London's most important yet neglected artery. When a young woman is found chained to a post in the tide, no one can understand how she came to be drowned there. That's only part of the problem. Bryant's deteriorating condition prevents him from handling the case. To make matters worse, May makes a fatal error of judgment that knocks him out of action.
In an adventure that's as twisting as the river, will there be anything left of the Peculiar Crimes Unit when it's over?
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|Listening Length||15 hours and 13 minutes|
|Audible.com Release Date||March 31, 2016|
|Publisher||W. F. Howes Ltd|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #226,760 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#4,093 in Police Procedural Mysteries
#6,892 in Crime Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#20,104 in Police Procedurals (Books)
Top reviews from the United States
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This novel uses the tides of the River Thames as the means for solving the mysterious deaths which happen on this one small stretch of beach along the river. And let's not forget the human appendage that's involved which seems to simply muddy everything up but in reality provides a lot of answers. It was an accumulation of historical knowledge and modern sleuthing which, once again, provided the solution to the crimes. I enjoyed catching up with the continuing cast, was sorry to be losing one of the cast, and still feel so sorry for Raymond Land. Probably, in the long run, he's the most normal and sane one of the bunch.
Great fun for readers who like their fictional characters to be loaded with quirks and personalities, but who also want a serious puzzle to solve right along with the police. I suppose there isn't any reason not to begin reading the series here, but if you do you will not enjoy the questions and tensions the author had built up over the welfare of Arthur Bryant through the previous three novels. Just go ahead and read them all, but remember the first word in the name of their crime unit is "peculiar" and a peculiar group they are.
The central mystery of "Strange..." involves the appearance of bodies and body parts in the Thames River on a daily basis. Not much links the murders at first, but eventually a trail begins to move toward a Libyan con man who is a local hit with bored housewives. The plot actually becomes a bit secondary to the novel as author Christopher Fowler dives deep into the history and lore of the Thames and double-wraps the storyline with a metaphysical blanket of the significance of the river in renewal, rebirth, etc. Interesting, but a bit overdone, perhaps. Not really so important, as Fowler takes Arthur Bryant on such new flights of fancy and self-investigation that the best parts of the story are, once again, about him and his mates in the PCU.
Longtime fans of this series will love this latest episode, especially since there is some happy redemption at book's end. For anyone who hasn't yet read a PCU book, an earlier story in the series, might be a better place to start. The important thing is to start! This is a highly entertaining and very original series that is always full of surprises and plenty of laughs.
The special thing about this volume is its focus on the history and mythology of the Thames. Bryant’s encyclopedic, if eccentrically scattershot, knowledge of London history and geography of course is prominent in all the books, and the Thames (specifically in that case its underground tributaries) was featured in at least one other, The Water Room (perhaps the best book in the series), but I was glad to see it return here. I would really love to get Bryant; his less imaginative but equally knowledgeable predecessor by two centuries, Charles Horton of the River Police (hero of Lloyd Shepherd’s excellent mystery series); and policeman Peter Grant and his friends the goddesses (and a few gods) of the Thames and its tributaries (in Ben Aaronovitch’s equally excellent urban fantasy series) together for a riverside party and listen to the resulting conversation! I can imagine, for instance, what Aaronovitch’s salty-tongued ladies would have to say to a character in this Bryant and May book who burbles to his disciples about “the fair nymphs of Tamesas, keeping time with the billow of her crystal waves, carry[ing] us to the Ocean with her ebb.”
The other lovely thing about this volume is that it exists at all. At the end of the one just before it, Bryant appeared to be suffering from some form of growing dementia that went well beyond his beloved usual craziness, and he was last seen walking off into the fog to “say goodbye to London.” I was afraid he was saying goodbye to us, too, so I was delighted to find that this was not the case—and the author promises a further volume as well. I hope that the Peculiar Crimes Unit and its equally peculiar detectives will be around for a very long time!