Ballantine, Feb 2003, 25.95, 352 pp.
After exposing the workings of the Inner Circle, Thomas Pitt was fired as superintendent of Bow Street. For his and his family's sake he went to work for Special Branch, a top secret agency charged with keeping Great Britain safe from its' enemies. His latest case involves an Egyptian woman, Ayesha Zakhari, the mistress of cabinet minister Saville Ryerson.
The police believe that Ayesha shot and killed minor diplomat Edwin Lovatt, her lover when he was stationed in Egypt over a decade ago. Ryerson and Ayesha were disposing the body when the police caught them. The government doesn't want Ryerson implicated in a scandal and he doesn't want his mistress who he loves very much to hang for murder. Pitt's boss sends him to Egypt in the hope of discovering more about the players and if anyone else had a reason to kill Lovatt.
Anne Perry has written another fascinating Victorian mystery and this one is better than most (and that is saying something) because the reader receives an intriguing look at Egypt through the filtered eyes of a veteran foreign police officer. The audience also gain the perspective of how many Egyptians feel towards their British masters. History aside, in SEVEN DIALS, the hero's wife is working on a missing person case that has to do with Pitt's homicide investigation. Watching these two cases intersect is mesmerizing and realistic if one has faith in coincidence.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner