Gary Dolman

Red Dragon, White Dragon

"...Dolman has penned a great novel which lays an icy grasp around the reader"


Commissioned Investigators Atticus and Lucie Fox are summoned to an estate in remote Northumberland where a series of bizarre, grisly deaths appear to centre on the delusions of a madman who lives alone on the edge of the moors.

Close-by are the remains of a long-vanished castle where local legends say King Arthur still lies in an enchanted sleep, waiting to be awoken at a time of great need. The killings have all been committed using Arthurian artefacts and the locals swear that they have seen a ghostly knight in armour roaming the moors. But how can that be? This is 1890 and King Arthur died over thirteen-hundred years before.

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This second outing for the Victoria detectives is a remarkable novel which delves even deeper into history than its own setting. The Arthurian connection runs through the story like a major artery, giving life while passing by. I once again warmed to the joint leads of Atticus and Lucie Fox. They are fine characters who are on the edge of breaking technology (for the Victorian age) and their various strengths are very complimentary. For me it was Sir Hugh Lowther's character which dominated the landscape and I found myself ever more drawn to his bombastic if misguided opinions. The plot develops nicely with certain characters falling under my suspicion before another took precedence. Yes, I did guess who the killer was before the reveal, but often that's one of the best parts about crime fiction – beating the detective to the correct answer. The pace increases as the number of bodies piles up and Dolman's final scenes will stay long in my memory. Once again Dolman has penned a great novel which lays an icy grasp around the reader. The period details and language are both spot on, and the sense of madness driving the murderer on is truly haunting.

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