Saturday, October 8, 2022

ARC Review: Under a Veiled Moon by Karen Odden

Under a Veiled Moon

Karen Odden
Series: Inspector Corravan Mystery (Book 2)
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (October 11, 2022)

Description: In the tradition of C. S. Harris and Anne Perry, a fatal disaster on the Thames and a roiling political conflict set the stage for Karen Odden’s second Inspector Corravan historical mystery.

September 1878. One night, as the pleasure boat the Princess Alice makes her daily trip up the Thames, she collides with the Bywell Castle, a huge iron-hulled collier. The Princess Alice shears apart, throwing all 600 passengers into the river; only 130 survive. It is the worst maritime disaster London has ever seen, and early clues point to sabotage by the Irish Republican Brotherhood, who believe violence is the path to restoring Irish Home Rule.

For Scotland Yard Inspector Michael Corravan, born in Ireland and adopted by the Irish Doyle family, the case presents a challenge. Accused by the Home Office of willfully disregarding the obvious conclusion, and berated by his Irish friends for bowing to prejudice, Corravan doggedly pursues the truth, knowing that if the Princess Alice disaster is pinned on the IRB, hopes for Home Rule could be dashed forever.

Corrovan’s dilemma is compounded by Colin, the youngest Doyle, who has joined James McCabe’s Irish gang. As violence in Whitechapel rises, Corravan strikes a deal with McCabe to get Colin out of harm’s way. But unbeknownst to Corravan, Colin bears longstanding resentments against his adopted brother and scorns his help.

As the newspapers link the IRB to further accidents, London threatens to devolve into terror and chaos. With the help of his young colleague, the loyal Mr. Stiles, and his friend Belinda Gale, Corravan uncovers the harrowing truth—one that will shake his faith in his countrymen, the law, and himself.

My Thoughts: It is 1878 and Scotland Yard Inspector Michael Corravan has been assigned to the Wapping River Police after some police scandals. He's busy with some murders that look like gang problems between two Irish gangs. Then the unthinkable happens, the Princess Alice which is filled with day trippers collides with the Bywell Castle which is a coal hauler. The Princess Alice comes apart drowning more than 600 people. 

When it looks like the accident could have been caused by the Irish Republican Brotherhood, Corrovan is pulled in many directions. Some of his superiors are concerned that he will be too sympathetic to the Irish because of his own Irish heritage. While he struggles to unravel the tangled threads of the disaster, he is also dealing with family issues. His young foster brother Colin, who deeply resents the fact the Michael took off unexpectedly when he was young, is getting mixed up in the doings of Irish crime lords. Michael wants to get him out from under their thumbs and give his brother an easier, legal future. 

The setting was fascinating. The politics of the day intriguing and reflecting current day politics as well. I liked Corrovan who was a dedicated police officer determined to find the true culprits behind the accident. He was a complex man who deals with guilt and grief with the strong support of his foster mother and lady friend. 

Fans of historical mysteries won't want to miss Inspector Michael Corrovan and his colleagues and his world.

Favorite Quote:
"You can't blame yourself," she replied. "Blame is a useless thing. Folks take it up because they think it's easier than grief."


"Blame gives you the notion something can be done to heal the hole dug like a well into your heart. But it can't." She paused. "The only thing that can fill that well are tears, Mickey. Grief must be borne, unhappy though it makes us for a while."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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