Berkley, Dec 2003, 5.99, 272 pp.
Regency England in 1816 is not the best place for a lame soldier on half pay with no prospects and no hope of finding any. Captain Gabriel Lacey and his commanding officer were asked to leave the army to avoid a court martial and scandal but the animosity between the two men exist to this very day. Still his ex-commander's wife Louisa tries to mend the breach that she was inadvertently responsible for causing.
Lacey rejects her overture but on his way to visit her without her husband there, he runs into a mob intending to assault the home of Josiah Horne. This curious captain goes to visit Josiah who thinks he wants the direction of a powerful criminal. When he returns to the home to get the name, he find the man dead and castrated and a young girl drugged in a hidden compartment in the closet. He learns that another girl was there as well and he intends to find her or die trying.
The protagonist of THE HANOVER SQUARE AFFAIR is one of the most honorable men to grace the pages of a mystery book. He will risk his own life to right a wrong and that is the reason the audience will come to care for him and hope one day in his future he will find happiness. Ashley Gardner's debut novel compares favorably with writers who have made the best seller list.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner