The Age of Treachery by Gavin Scott

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The Age of Treachery by Gavin Scott

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Category: Crime (Historical)
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: The war might be over on paper, but real life is different. An elegant crime thriller set in Oxford, Berlin and the Norwegian fjords.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 352 Date: April 2016
Publisher: Titan Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1783297801

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In the winter of 1946 Duncan Forrester, formerly of the Special Operations Executive, was back at his Oxford college as a junior fellow in Ancient History. He'd lost the woman he loved to the Gestapo and was now feeling guilty about the fact that he was besotted with the wife of his best friend, a fellow academic. To confuse matters further the woman in question, Margaret Clark, had been having an affair with another lecturer, David Lyall and it seemed likely that she would leave her husband for him.

After years of war emotions are not necessarily balanced but in all probability matters would have resolved themselves satisfactorily had it not been for the reading of a Norwegian Saga in the Master's lodge one snowy night. The Master's wife was drawn to a window by the sound of breaking glass - and saw the body of David Lyall in the untrodden snow of the quad. Lyall had been heartily disliked by many people, so the list of possible subjects was long, but it was Margaret Clark's husband, Gordon who was arrested and charged with the murder. The circumstantial evidence was strong and there seemed to be no reason why he would not hang for the crime. Duncan Forrester was determined that he would not, and his investigations would take him to a Berlin which was still much as it was in the final days of the war and then onto the Norwegian fjords.

Gavin Scott perfectly captures the atmosphere at the end of the war. It might have been over on paper, but the facts were rather different. He captures the people of the time too - we have cameo appearances from a young Margaret Thatcher, Kenneth Tynan, Robert Maxwell and many others. It might not have added a great deal to the story, but it put a smile on my face.

There's a very satisfying outcome to the plot - I had several other people pencilled in as the villain of the piece, but came nowhere near the real solution, which was very satisfying. The Age of Treachery is billed as being the first a new series and I'd certainly be pleased to see how Forrester's adventures continue. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag. We also have a review of book two.

If this book appeals then you might also enjoy The Light of Day by Eric Ambler and The Return of the Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett.

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