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The Peculiar Crimes Unit has been disbanded and octogenarian detectives Arthur Bryant and John May look set for retirement. That is until a headless body is found in a freezer. A mysterious figure with antlers made of knives also catches their interest, but are the two connected? Either way, Bryant & May and the rest of the PCU are back in business, only with very limited resources and so little time.
I'd never heard of the Bryant & May series of books by Christopher Fowler until Bryant & May On the Loose was listed as part of Transworld's Summer Reading Challenge. I was a little hesitant at reading it as "On the Loose" is the 7th book in the Bryant & May series and I hadn't read any of the others. I needn't have worried though as "On the Loose" stands well as a book by itself. There's no need to have read any of the other books in the series as the main characters of Arthur Bryant and John May shine through the book and by the end you feel as if you know them very well, like old friends. I love the fact that they've worked together for so long that they're almost like an old married couple!
In a way, Bryant & May and their colleagues at the PCU remind me of the BBC TV series New Tricks, I found the book to very much have that kind of feel to it.
The story is set in the Kings Cross area of London and I have a feeling the author knows the area like the back of his hand. We're treated to the myths & legends of the area, as well as historical and architectural information... When reading this book you feel like you could be walking the very same streets or occupying the same buildings.
No part of the story is wasted, there's no fillers, every word in this book is there for a reason. All of which makes this book a good read. It goes at a steady pace, with splashes of humour here and there, as well as action (not that you'd expect it with a pair of old codgers as the lead characters!), tension and a little bit of romance thrown in. All in all, Bryant & May On the Loose is a good "whodunnit" story. Will they get their killer? Why not read the book and see!
Please note: I received this book free from Transworld Publishers as part of the Transworld Summer Reading Challenge. However, this in no way influenced my opinion of the book.