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Book reviews - Bottled Spider

Bottled Spider

Author: John Gardner
The year is 1940. And the German bombs aren’t the only thing that could get you...

Two-faced Golly Goldfinch likes his victims young, female and unsuspecting.

Armed with piano wire and the ability to go unnoticed despite a facial deformity, Golly hears voices telling him who to target.

After the mutilated body of a popular BBC announcer, Jo Benton, is discovered in her London home, inexperienced Detective Sergeant Susannah Mountford finds herself hopelessly out of her depth in charge of the investigation.

It quickly becomes clear that Jo Benton has intimate connections across London society and it is WDS Mountford’s job to untangle the sordid web of her personal life.

But, as the number of similar corpses mounts, the question must be asked — are these killings the frenzied work of a madman, or is something altogether more organised going on?

With bombs dropping every night and death all around, WDS Mountford must fight the general prejudice against women in the police force to be taken seriously.

Then Golly hears her name...

Bottled Spider is a gripping and atmospheric thriller, delving into the seedy underworld beneath the Blitz Spirit.

Praise for John Gardner:

“Richly textured, wonderfully atmospheric and ironical, the novel shows Gardner as a smooth, polished master of the form” Publishers Weekly

‘A master storyteller at the height of his power’ - Len Deighton

“Fascinating story ... a satisfying book from a seasoned pro” Booklist

Before coming an author of fiction in the early 1960s John Gardner was variously a stage magician, a Royal Marine officer and a journalist. In all Gardner has fifty-four novels to his credit, including Maestro, which was the New York Times book of the year. He was also invited by Ian Fleming’s literary copyright holders to write a series of continuation James Bond novels, which proved to be so successful that instead of the contracted three books he went on to publish some fourteen titles, including Licence Renewed and Icebreaker. Having lived in the Republic of Ireland, the United States and the UK, John Gardner sadly died in August of 2007 having just completed his third novel in the Moriarty trilogy, Conan Doyle’s eponymous villain of the Sherlock Holmes series.

US publication: 2002
Detective: Detective Sergeant Suzie Mountford
Genre: novels