Thursday 15 August 2019

Night’s Child - Maureen Jennings - Detective Murdoch Book 5

Night's Child
Detective Murdoch Book 5
Maureen Jennings
McClelland & Stewart
An imprint of Penguin Random House Canada

ISBN 9780771046773
eISBN 9781551991931

Maureen Jennings books are excellent reads. I love each of her series, but Murdoch will always have a special place for me, for it was the jump from the TV series to the books that introduced me to Jennings works. This was the 13th work by Jennings that I have read over 12 weeks. And it is the 7th in the Detective Murdoch series I have read. This book was a real page turner and was very hard to put down. In fact, I stayed up way later than I should have since my alarm for work goes off at 5am. I lost track of home many times I thought to myself ‘just 1 more page’. It was also the first time I highlighted in one of the books by Jennings. At one-point Murdoch is musing to himself, and he things: “There was no answer to that of course except self-knowledge and at this moment he felt a stranger to himself, doubting everything.” And that self reflection and scrutiny helps Murdoch not only in understanding himself, but in unraveling both issues he is investigating. 

Usually mysteries with child victims are too disturbing for me to give them a 5/5 stars. But Jennings handled the subject in such a way that the story was worthy of the 5 star rating. 

In this story there are two main pursuits Murdoch is looking into. One is acquisitions against a fellow office of the number 4 station. And also, a minor who is now missing but appeared in inappropriate photos. While looking into the photo’s of 13 year old Agnew Fisher, we meet her teacher the indominable Miss Amy Slade. Murdoch is furious of the sexual exploitation of the child. But while investigating this it crosses over into his looking into the letters about Sergeant Seymour he discovers that Seymour and Fisher lodge at the same house. And soon the three of them are working together on both issues. 

Ste in Toronto in 1895 this story does an excellent job of capturing the time and place. This story looks ate the exploitation of children. Early typewriter competitions. Politics of the Toronto police. And some bias against Catholics. We also get a deeper understanding of Murdoch, and he of himself. 

This is a great read in an excellent series. Fans of the show will encounter a different Murdoch, but with enough overlap that they will be sure to want to read more. The Murdoch books are strong enough to stand on their own, but I have been enjoying reading them in order. 

Books by Maureen Jennings:
Detective Murdoch Series:

0.5 Shipwreck
1.0 Except the Dying
2.0 Under the Dragon's Tail
3.0 Poor Tom Is Cold
4.0 Let Loose the Dogs
5.0 Night's Child
6.0 Vices of My Blood
7.0 A Journeyman to Grief
8.0 Let Darkness Bury the Dead

Detective Inspector Tom Tyler Series:
1.0 Season of Darkness
2.0 Beware This Boy
3.0 No Known Grave
4.0 Dead Ground in Between

Christine Morris Series:
1.0 Does Your Mother Know?
2.0 The K Handshape


Paradise Café Series:

1.0 Heat Wave
2.0 November Rain

Other books:
The Map of Your Mind: Journeys into Creative Expression
Investigating Murdoch Mysteries: The Official Companion to the Series – with Michelle Ricci and Mir Bahmanyar

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