Seventy-Seven Clocks: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery
A mysterious stranger in outlandish Edwardian garb defaces a Pre-Raphaelite painting in the National Gallery. Then a guest at the exclusive Savoy Hotel is fatally bitten by a marshland snake. Over the next several days, an outbreak of increasingly bizarre crimes will hit London—and, fittingly, come to the attention of the Peculiar Crimes Unit. Art vandalism, an exploding suspect, pornography, rat poison, Gilbert and Sullivan musicals, secret societies…and not a single suspect in sight. The killer they’re chasing has a dark history, a habit of staying hidden, and time itself on his side. Detectives May and Bryant are racing the clock and this time the bell may be tolling for them.
disastrous marriage, and what he could possibly do to help her. And he wondered if it was selfishness that kept him working when he should have been with them. He had not heard from Bryant for several hours. The case was taking its toll on them both. An astonishing amount of paperwork had built up in the office and had yet to be cleared. The PCU differed from other experimental units previously tested by the Met, insofar as routine procedural elements could be farmed out to auxiliary teams,
official interest, but they all fell into the standard categories. A young Chinese man attacked with a sword in Chinatown in broad daylight, possibly a triad connection, bad gambling debts. A punter leaving a club on Saturday night, found dead in an alley, seen flashing cash by a group of shark-eyed kids who waited for him to leave. An altercation outside a bar that left one dead and one in critical condition, knives and drink and a row over nothing much at all. Bryant was right—the common run of
take breakfast with your guests?' ‘All the time. It's part of the service.' She seated herself and unfolded a napkin in her lap. ‘I'm surprised you're still here. Most of the delegates are checking out. They're being moved to a high-security residence.' ‘Well, two deaths in the same hotel—it's not exactly an advertisement for healthy living, is it?' ‘It's hardly our fault. It's not the usual sort of thing that happens in a hotel. They were, you know—proper murders.' ‘I see. You can be killed
fading. She could no longer tell if it was day or night. Her ankles were loosely tied with a piece of nylon cord, and she was sick of scraping her knees on the rough concrete floor. She had given up crying. Tears only made her captor more upset. ‘Can't I have something that isn't ice cream?' She was glad she could not see him. He was there, though. He was always there among the oil cans and coils of rope, crouching in the darkest corner with his head resting on his knees. Whenever he came closer
die?' Tears spilled from her bulging eyes. ‘What do we have to do to get protection from this—this—' ‘Mrs Whitstable, every person here today has a police detail,' intervened May. ‘Your houses are being watched around the clock. Until we find the information we need to make an arrest, there's nothing more we can do.' ‘Well, there's something I can damned well do,' she hissed, thrusting her livid face forward. ‘I'm going to make sure your little experimental unit is closed down and this