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Having read Bryant & May On the Loose by Christopher Fowler for the Transworld Summer Reading Challenge, I decided to give the next book in the series a go.
Bryant & May Off the Rails follows the aging, octogenarian detectives as they search for a killer who has escaped their clutches and they only have one week to do it in, otherwise the Peculiar Crimes Unit will be shut down. While they search for one murderer it seems like another may be on the loose as a young mother falls down a tube station staircase during the rush-hour, in full view of the CCTV and other commuters. Something leads Bryant & May to think that she didn't simply fall and the investigation takes them into the depths of the London Underground.
In the course of the investigation, Off the Rails treats us to strange goings-on in the London Underground, with stories of ghosts and forgotten stations, and trivial clues (Christopher Fowler has done his research!). Has the detectives' missing killer gone underground and is he responsible for more deaths?
Bryant & May can be described as golden age detectives due to the way they conduct their investigations. They're lovable, if not a bit quirky. As I said in my review of On the Loose, Bryant & May remind me of the BBC TV programme New Tricks, except they are older and have younger colleagues.
I loved the quote "Fowler, eh? Sounds dodgy." when Bryant & May were discussing a London Underground engineer (It made me chuckle because Fowler is the author's surname, in case you weren't paying attention!).
Another note I made while reading this book was about the Lutine Bell at Lloyd's Bank. I'd never heard of it before reading Off The Rails, but on that very same evening it was mentioned on The Antiques Roadshow. What a co-incidence!
Anyway, the books in the Bryant & May series seem to be self-contained (in that you can pick up a book without reading the previous books in the series). This can also be said for Off the Rails, however I think it's a much better read if you've read the previous book, On the Loose.
Off The Rails is another good "whodunnit" by Christopher Fowler. There are twists and turns and the book goes at a good pace. There's even a bit of comedy thrown in for good measure. It's certainly an enjoyable read and one I'd recommend (along with Bryant & May On the Loose).
(Currently available in Hardback and Ebook).