Barbara Nadel

Sure and Certain Death

""...a cracking story. " "


Francis Hancock, undertaker extraordinaire, is back from his last exploit in St Paul's Cathedral and is continuing to face both the nightmares of the Blitz and his own internal demons.

When a series of middle-aged women are found brutally murdered, he is horrified to discover a connection that comes close to his own family. Rumour is rife that Jack the Ripper has returned to the streets of the East End but Hancock sees a thread that leads back to the First World War and his own family members.

When the true murderer is finally unveiled, it only confirms the long reaching and pernicious impact of that terrible conflict.

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Barbara Nadel brings the flavour of London's East End during the Blitz vividly to life. The struggles of individual families and the social distinctions of the various “villages” are brilliantly described. The East End was not one amorphous mass, but a closely knit but distinct group of communities with individual identities. Throw into that an element of racial tension, and you have the backdrop for a cracking story. The individual characters are beautifully drawn and Hancock and his family capture your interest. In this book we learn more about his sister, Nancy, and she develops into a strong character. who is yet another victim of the tragedy of the First world War. This is a book which is primarily an exciting story and a cleverly constructed plot, but it has many elements to appeal to both an historian and a sociologist.

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