Kim Wright has thrilled me again. City of Light is a fantastic murder/mystery novel. I love Wright's characters and the relationships they have with one another.
The title City of Light is a reference to Paris, France, which is the primary setting for the novel. Paris has a magical quality, but also a mysterious quality. Of course, I've never been but this is the rumor confirmed by the many novels I've read set in ol' Parie...
Once again we are plunged into the lives of criminal experts Trevor Welles and Rayley Abrams. With the Jack the Ripper all sewn up case (do you see what I did there? :-), or gone cold for the cynics, Rayley has been invited to Paris to learn more about the art of forensics. Staying behind awaiting good word is Trevor Welles - the head of the first Forensic Division of Scotland Yard appointed by Queen Victoria herself, Tom Bainbridge - a medical student, Davy Mabrey - a "bobby" with a keen eye and good sense, and off the record, Emma Kelly, the sister of the last victim of the Ripper. Their team is set to work on a case involving an underage male brothel. But, it seems brothels for the English and business deals for the Parisians are better acquainted than one might assume. Centered around the reveal of one of the Seven Wonder of the World, the Eiffel Tower, Welles and his team discover themselves in the the thick of cross-ocean crimes with one of their own fighting for life. Will the team connect all the clues in time?
Wright has a wonderful dynamic between her characters. I love that Emma Kelly is often one of the most intriguing and ingenious members of the team, even if she's not allowed to be on the official payroll. Wright makes a statement by having Emma be such an integral part of the criminal investigations. As one would assume, women could not be a part of such an organization during this time period.
And Emma Kelly is not the only daring female in the tale. I think Wright makes a solid point about being a woman when she writes, "Beautiful and smart. A woman should be one or the other, not both, or she is in an impossible situation - attractive enough to draw men, be shrewd enough to see through them."
Keeping with wonderful British charm, "And here's another one for you to stir into your tea..." and true to the personas created in book one, City of Darkness, City of Light continues to embed the reader in the lives of each personality. From beginning to end one roots for Trevor and his team to flesh out the bad guy and always, always get their man.
The novel is complete at 526 pages, but I assure you, you'll fly through them in no time flat. Aside from a few typos here and there (minor really), the book is astutely written and well laid out. The description is just enough to conjure the images necessary to understand the book, but not overwhelming at any time.
I recommend the novel for a fantastic suspense read.
I, myself, am already half-way through book three, City of Silence, and I anticipate yet another daring adventure with characters I've grown to love.