Barbara Nadel

After The Mourning

""The plot is intricate and very different.""


Francis Hancock is a highly unusual undertaker based in the East End of London during the blitz in Second World War. Having suffered from shell shock in the trenches during the First World War, he relives his terror whenever the bombs are falling and has to keep running to keep his demons at bay.

A young gypsy girl, Rosie Lee, is murdered in Epping Forest. Francis is asked by the family to bury her. The encampment in Epping Forest also includes many dispossessed people; travellers, deserters and possibly German spies. The murder proves to be only the first in a series of deaths that leads to the discovery of a conspiracy that can be tracked back to the Nazis in Germany.

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This is the second book in the series about Francis Hancock and I warmly welcome it. The main protagonist, Francis, and the group of characters around him are both sympathetic and believable. The plot is intricate and very different. The descriptions of the war torn East End are vivid and, at times, frightening. I found myself really caring deeply about what happened to Francis, his family and friends as the developments of the plot unfolded.

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