The Leaden Heart by Chris Nickson (Tom Harper #7)
English | 2019 | Mystery/Thriller | ePUB | 554 Kb
The Leaden Heart : Leeds, England. July, 1899. The hot summer has been fairly quiet for Detective Superintendent Tom Harper and his squad, until a daring burglary occurs at an expensive Leeds address. Then his friend and former colleague, Inspector Billy Reed, asks for his help. Billy’s brother, Charlie, a shopkeeper, has committed suicide. Going through Charlie’s papers, Billy discovers crippling rent rises demanded by his new landlord. Could these have driven him to his death? As Harper investigates, he uncovers a web of intimidation and corruption that leads back to the mysterious North Leeds Company. Who is pulling the strings behind the scenes and bringing a new kind of misery and violence to the people of Leeds? Harper is determined to unmask the culprits, but how much blood will be shed as he tries?
“But it was a fine Sunday to go somewhere, to be away from the stifling closeness of Leeds, to breathe some different air. And his wife deserved it. She’d spent the week running the Victoria while Dan the barman was away. Her pub, her responsibility, she told him. That was on top of her work as a Poor Law Guardian, talking to families around Sheepscar that needed help with their relief money, followed by a board meeting on Friday morning.
‘I’m jiggered,’ she’d said that evening as she collapsed on the settee with a cup of tea. ‘Do you know what the silly beggars wanted today?’
‘Go on,’ Harper said, ‘what was it this time?’ It seemed that every session of the Guardians brought fresh complaints.
‘Someone brought in a pile of different ulster coats for the workhouse girls and they wanted me to try them all on so they could see which was best.’ She shook her head in disbelief. ‘At first I thought they were joking.’
That wasn’t the end of things, he was certain.
‘What did you do?’
‘I told them they could stuff it.’ She smiled, then sighed. ‘Honestly, they don’t have a clue. I know some of them mean well, but …’ There might be elected women Guardians now, but equality wasn’t even on the horizon yet. Annabelle looked at him. ‘They say it’s still going to be nice on Sunday. We should go out for the day.’
The castle was her idea; she’d seen an article in the newspaper. And it was pleasant enough to stroll around, he had to admit that. But after a few minutes they’d seen what little remained, and went to the cafe for sandwiches and lemonade.”