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Farriers' Lane

  • Couverture cartonnée
  • 384 Nombre de pages
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ldquo;[A] devious affair of passion and political intrigue in Victorian London.”—The New York Times Book Review“... Lire la suite
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ldquo;[A] devious affair of passion and political intrigue in Victorian London.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Gripping and intense . . . [Anne Perry’s] characters are authentically and appealingly drawn, and her plot is sinister.”—Booklist

“Riveting . . . [a] convincing look at the seamy side of Victorian life.”—Publishers Weekly

“When it comes to the Victorian mystery, Anne Perry has proved that nobody does it better.”—The San Diego Union-Tribune

“Perry is a forceful plotter and a consistently polished writer.”—Seattle Weekly

Anne Perry is the bestselling author of two acclaimed series set in Victorian England: the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels, including Death on Blackheath and Midnight at Marble Arch, and the William Monk novels, including Blood on the Water and Blind Justice. She is also the author of a series of five World War I novels, as well as twelve holiday novels, most recently A New York Christmas, and a historical novel, The Sheen on the Silk, set in the Ottoman Empire. Anne Perry lives in Los Angeles and Scotland.

Texte du rabat

When the distinguished Mr. Justice Stafford dies of opium poisoning, his shocking demise resurrects one of the most sensational cases ever to inflame England: the murder five years before of Kingsley Blaine, whose body was found crucified in Farriers' Lane. Amid the public hysteria for revenge, the police had arrested a Jewish actor who was soon condemned to hang. Police Inspector Thomas Pitt, investigating Stafford's death, is drawn into the Farriers' Lane murder as well, for it appears that Stafford may have been about to reopen the case. Pitt receives curiously little help from his colleagues on the force, but his wife, Charlotte, gleans from her social engagements startling insights into both cases. And slowly both Thomas and Charlotte begin to reach for the same sinister and deeply dangerous truth.

Échantillon de lecture
ldquo;ISN’T HE SUPERB?” Caroline Ellison whispered to her daughter Charlotte. “He conveys so much feeling with the simplest word or a gesture!”
They were side by side in the red plush box in the theater in the semidarkness. It was late autumn and since there was no heating the air was cold. By the end of the first act the press of the crowd had warmed the stalls, but up here in the first tier of boxes it was different. The movement of applause and the stamping of feet then had helped, but now the drama was tense again, and the buzz of excitement shivery.
The stage was brilliant, the actors vivid figures against the romantic, plyboard scenery. One in particular commanded Caroline’s attention: a man of just over average height, slender, with a sensitive, aquiline face full of humor and imagination, yet haunted with all the possibilities of tragedy. He was Joshua Fielding, principal actor of the company, and Charlotte was now quite certain he was the reason her mother had chosen this particular performance.
Apparently Caroline was waiting for a reply. Her face was quick and intelligent, but touched with an odd kind of vulnerability, as though Charlotte’s answer might matter to her. She had been widowed a little while now. After the first grief had come a kind of euphoria, a sense of freedom as she realized how much she might do without restraint, since she was her own mistress. She read whatever she pleased, political, contentious, even scandalous. She joined societies and discussed all manner of subjects previously forbidden, and listened to lectures from reformers, travelers and scientists, many accompanied by photographs or slides.
But perhaps now a little of the pleasure of it was wearing thin and now and again a shadow of loneliness crossed her thoughts.
“Yes, indeed, Mama,” Charlotte agreed sincerely. “He has a voice I could listen to for hours.”
Caroline smiled and returned her attention to the stage, for the time being satisfied.
Charlotte looked sideways at her husband, but Pitt’s eyes were on the occupants of a box some twenty yards away around the same tier of the balcony. One was a man in his early sixties with thinning hair, a broad brow, and at the present moment a fixed expression. He was staring at the stage. The other was a handsome, dark-haired woman, at least twelve or fourteen years younger. Her glittering jewelry caught the light as she fidgeted, turning her head, touching her hair and leaning slightly forward in her seat.
“Who are they?” Charlotte whispered.
“What?” Pitt was caught by surprise.
“Who are they?” she repeated quietly, looking past him to the other box.
“Oh—” He was a little uncomfortable. The visit to the theater was a gift from Caroline, and he did not wish to appear less than wholly involved in the play in spite of the fact it did not hold him. “A judge at the court of appeal,” he whispered back. “Mr. Justice Stafford.”
“Is she his wife?” Charlotte asked, seeking the reason for Pitt’s interest.
He smiled very slightly. “I think so—why?”
Charlotte glanced towards the box again, only moderately discreetly.
“Then why are you looking at them?” she asked him, still in a hushed voice. “Who is that in the box just beyond them?”
“It looks like Mr. Justice Livesey.”
“Isn’t he young to be a judge? He’s rather handsome, don’t you think? Mrs. Stafford seems to think so too!”
Pitt turned a little in his seat. Caroline was too absorbed in the stage to notice. He followed Charlotte’s gaze.
“Not the man with the black hair!” he said under his breath. “The one nearer. The young one is Adolphus Pryce. He is a Queen’s Counsel. Livesey is the big man with white hair.”
“Oh—well, why are you looking at them anyway?”
“I was just surprised he was so absorbed in the play,” Pitt replied with a slight shrug. “It’s rather romantic. I wouldn’t have thought it of him. But his eyes haven’t left the stage for ten minutes or more. In fact I haven’t seen him blink!”
“Perhaps he’s enamored of Tamar Macaulay?” Charlotte said with a little giggle.
“Who?” Pitt’s face creased with confusion.
“The actress!” Charlotte was exasperated and for a moment her voice rose. “Really, Thomas! Do pay attention! She is the heroine!”
“Oh—of course. I forgot her name. I’m sorry,” he apologized contritely. “Be quiet and watch the play.”
They both faced the front and were silent for nearly a quarter of an hour until a small cry from the Staffords’ box and a hasty, half-muffled activity drew their attention. Even Caroline was caused to look away from the stage.
“What is it?” she asked anxiously. “What has happened? Is someone ill?”
“Yes, it looks like it,” Pitt replied, pushing his chair back as if to rise, and then changing his mind. “I think Judge Stafford seems to be unwell.”
Indeed, Mrs. Stafford was on her feet, leaning over her husband in some agitation, attempting to loosen his collar and speaking to him in a low, urgent voice. However, he made no response except a spasmodic jerking of his limbs, not wildly, but as if he were in some distress. The same fixed, immobile expression remained on his face, as if he still could not bear to drag his attention from the stage and the figures on it playing out their own predetermined drama.
“Should we help?” Charlotte whispered doubtfully.
“What could we do?” Pitt looked worried, his face puckered. “He probably needs a doctor.” But even as he said it he pushed his chair farther back and rose to his feet. “I’d better see if she wishes someone to call for one. And they may need assistance to help him to a more private place, where he can lie down. Please excuse me to Caroline.” And without waiting any longer he slipped out of the back of the box.
Once outside he hurried along the wide passageway, counting the doors until he came to the right one. There was no point in knocking; the woman had all she could cope with in trying to help her husband without coming to open a door which would not be locked anyway. In fact it was already ajar; he simply pushed it wide and went in.
Samuel Stafford was slumped in the chair, his face very flushed. Even from the doorway Pitt could hear his labored breathing. Juniper Stafford was at the far side of the box now, leaning against the rail, her hands up to her face, knuckles white. She seemed almost paralyzed with fear. Next to Stafford, half kneeling on the floor, was Mr. Justice Ignatius Livesey.
“Can I be of help?” Pitt asked quickly. “Have you sent for a doctor, or would you like me to?”
Livesey looked around, startled. Obviously he had not heard Pitt come in. He was a big man, broad-headed with a powerful face, with short nose and fleshy jaw. It was a face of conviction and courage, perhaps uncertain temper, belonging to a man of intense and sudden moods who commanded others with ease.
“Yes, send for a doctor,” he agreed quickly after only a glance at Pitt to assure himself he was a gentleman, and not merely a curious intruder. “I am not a medical man, and I fear there is little I can do.”
“Of course. I’ll send my wife to be with Mrs. Stafford.”
Livesey’s face showed acute surprise.
“You know him?”
“Only by repute, Mr. Livesey,” Pitt said with the barest smile. The man in the chair was sliding farther down and his breathing was becoming slower. Without wasting any more time Pitt went out again, and passing his own box pushed the door open.
“Charlotte, it’s serious,” he said urgently. “I think the poor man may be dying. You’d better go and be with Mrs. Livesey.”
Caroline looked around at him anxiously.
“Stay here, Mama-in-law,” Pitt answered the unspoken question. “I’m going for a doctor, if there is one here.”
Charlotte stood up and went outside with him, turning to the Staffords’ box at a run, her skirts swinging. Pitt went the other way around towards the management offices. He found the right door, knocked sharply, then went in without waiting for an answer.
Inside a man with a magnificent mustache looked up angrily from the desk where he was studying some very indiscreet photographs.
“How dare you, sir!” he protested, half rising to his feet. “This is—”
“An emergency,” Pitt said without bothering to smile. “One of your patrons, in box fourteen, is extremely ill. In fact I fear he may well be dying. Mr. Justice Stafford—”
“Oh my God!” The manager was aghast. “How appalling! What a scandal! People are so superstitious. I—”
“Never mind that,” Pitt interrupted. “Is there a doctor in the theater? If not, you had better send for the nearest one as fast as you can. I am going back to see if I can do anything.”
“Who are you, sir? Your name.”
“Pitt—Inspector Thomas Pitt, Bow Street.”
“Oh, sweet heaven! What a disaster!” The manager’s face drained of all color.

Informations sur le produit

Titre: Farriers' Lane
Sous-titre: A Charlotte and Thomas Pitt Novel
Code EAN: 9780345514134
ISBN: 978-0-345-51413-4
Format: Couverture cartonnée
Editeur: Random House N.Y.
Genre: Romans policiers, thrillers et horreur
nombre de pages: 384
Poids: 348g
Taille: H205mm x B137mm x T20mm
Année: 2011