The Second World War rages on but Britain now faces the Nazi threat with America at its side.
In a bombed-out London swarming with gangsters and spies, DCI Frank Merlin continues his battle against rampant wartime crime. A mangled body is found in the Thames just as some items of priceless art go mysteriously missing. What sinister connection links the two?
Merlin and his team follow a twisting trail of secrets and lies as they investigate a baffling and deadly puzzle .
This is my first read of a novel by Mark Ellis, but as I love Historical crime fiction, particularly set around the World Wars, I was looking forward to it.
I know that this is the 5th Novel in the DCI Frank Merlin series, but even with a back history, this can be read as a standalone.
The writing is gritty, evocative and absolutely full of attention to detail which makes the reader really feel like they are there in London, in the Summer of 1942. In particular, the description of chaps attires right down to the name of his shirt maker and shoes (both of which I googled to make sure this was factual – it was!).
The plot was character-heavy at the beginning, and I was a little lost BUT all is revealed in the end and it works, it really does. The writing is pure noir and the character descriptions are really amazing. Even famous figures are given the Ellis touch here – Herman Goering for one was spectacular over breakfast with his wife…totally believable!
The plot is thick with spies, Army Officials of all sides and Police including, of course, the wonderful DCI Frank Merlin, who for a first-time reader I instantly loved!
The feel when you read Dead In The Water is amazing, its like you are transported from our messed up 2022 right back to 1942, again I must applaud the attention to detail, it is clear that Mark has an amazing mind at writing intricate and stunning Thriller, but also his love for the period during the Second World War in London. It almost read like a sweeping black and white movie at times!
In essence, this is a fantastic novel of wartime Noir at its best, gritty, tense and intelligent. I shall be awarding it 5-star rating.
If you’ve not read any of the DCI Frank Merlin books then I urge you to, I shall be buying the back catalogue to binge read on!
You can find Mark Ellis’s Website HERE
You can buy Dead In The Water HERE