The Devilís Ribbon Review
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In 1858, London is in the grips of both a cholera epidemic and the hottest summer on record. Unrest among the Irish, who are living in the slums of this Victorian society, breeds rumors of an impending uprising led by a disgruntled priest. Thousands were forced into London after the potato famine, and now they talk of liberationóby violent means, if necessary.

After several brutal murders and the disappearance of a famed chef, Scotland Yard calls in forensic specialist Professor Adolphus Hatton and Albert Roumande for help. The victims donít seem to be connected, but theyíre all found with a bright green ribbon placed on their bodies, suggesting that the murders are the work of the Fenians, or Ribbonmen, who fight for freedom at any cost.

Clues lead Hatton to a beautiful widow who entrusts him to find her husbandís killer. Blinded by a forbidden but growing love for her, Hatton races to put the pieces together, find a killer, and locate a missing man before the British and Irish clash in a deadly squabble thatís fueled by hatred.

  
 
No one brings history and murder together quite like author D. E. Meredith does in her latest Hatton and Roumande mystery, The Devilís Ribbon. Using a combination of turmoil, slaughter, and early forensic science, she weaves a convoluted yet spellbinding tale that will keep your mind fully engaged.

Adolphus Hatton has grown in warmth since Devoured, the first book in the series. His character is more engaging and lively. His assistant, Albert Roumande, on the other hand, pretty much stays in the background, but heís brought to life enough to make you wonder how on Earth he can do what he does in the morgue under such primitive conditions.

Youíll need a healthy interest in both British and Irish history and science to enjoy The Devilís Ribbon. The plot overflows with both, and it can, at times, get confusing, especially if your mind wandersóas I sometimes found mine doing during the slower parts of the story. However, the ending is well worth it, as the climax builds into a twist that youíll never see coming.

The Devilís Ribbon is an intelligent mystery that will challenge your mind while entertaining you at the same time. I recommend it for an excellent (and fun) brain exercise.

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