Under a Veiled Moon by Karen Odden
Series: Inspector Corravan #2 (Standalone)
Publication Date: 11th Oct 2022
Genre: Historical Mystery
One Liner: This is good!
Sep 1878, London
Pleasure boat Princess Alice collides with an iron-hulled collier, Bywell Castle, in the Thames. Princess Alice is torn apart, and 600 passengers are in the waters. With only 130 of them surviving, the case is one of the biggest accidents on the river.
However, the problem is that the collision may not be an accident. It appears that the Irish Republican Brotherhood planned the incident as a way to demand the restoration of the Irish Home Role.
Scotland Yard Inspector Michael Corravan is on the case. His Irish roots and connection could help him solve the case or put his life at risk. The increasing violence in Whitechapel adds to his troubles. Colin, the youngest Doyle, seems to be in the middle of it. Corrovan has no choice but to save the Doyle family. After all, they are his family, albeit adopted.
But can Inspector Corrovan get to the heart of the matter before it’s too late? The life of the Irish in London is horrible as it is. Will his investigation make it worse? What will it do to him?
The book works very well as a standalone (I read book one though I confess I don’t remember much, which isn’t uncommon).
Corrovan’s character arc is getting better and better. I love that he has issues but does justice to his job as a policeman.
The side characters are just as important and do their bit to keep the story going. They aren’t mere cardboard pieces but are growing similar to the main character (except for a couple, maybe).
What I love in the book is the theme. It deals with the Britishers’ hatred for the Irish and how this causes long-lasting repercussions on the poor and innocent. The writing is hard-hitting and straight to the point.
The themes of politics, gang wars, racism, personal prejudice, deliberate misinformation (some things don’t change), etc., are handed with a deft hand. The book is darker than the previous one, but nowhere does it get hyper, dramatic, or preachy.
There’s quite a bit of philosophical introspection (which reduces the pace), but it is a part of character development. I see how this might led to crucial revelations and developments in book three.
What could have been better are the pacing and the blurb. I didn’t read the blurb until I finished the book (I requested a copy when I saw the series title and didn’t bother with the blurb) and noticed that it reveals a little too much information. A tighter blurb will make the book more intriguing and effective. And maybe Belinda could have had more space.
To summarize, Under a Veiled Moon is an excellent and strong continuation of the series. Pick it up when you want something thought-provoking and slow-paced.
Thank you, NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books, for the eARC.