An Inspector Corravan Mystery: Book 2
Publication Date: October 11, 2022
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.
While Under a Veiled Moon is the second book in the An Inspector Corravan Mystery series, Ms. Odden does a superb job bringing the reader along, so nothing is missed if they haven’t read book one, Down a Dark River.
Ms. Odden has long been one of my favorite authors, with her nuanced attention to detail and impeccable research, which shines through without bogging the reader down with unnecessary information. Every piece of information is necessary, and while I am always highly entertained, I also feel more intelligent after reading a Karen Odden book. Ms. Odden excels with elegant prose and well-developed characters. No character is unimportant, and no words are frivolous.
Police Superintendent Michael Corravan is back, and this time, the violence hits home as his surrogate family is impacted when he finds out the youngest Doyle, Collin, is involved with the Irish mob.
Corravan is brought in to investigate the horrific and tragic real-life crash of the passenger paddle steamer Princess Alice, which collided with the collier Bywell Castle in the River Thames, killing more than 600 souls. Certain newspapers use innuendo and supposition to point to the IRB—the Irish Republican Brotherhood, a terrorist organization—accusing them of sabotage and fueling anti-Irish sentiment.
Corravan must walk a fine line investigating the accident, with many dubious he can investigate fairly given his Irish roots. Further pressure comes into play when he must go to the head of the Irish mob to ask for a favor.
Under a Veiled Moon is an edge-of-your-seat atmospheric Victorian political mystery-thriller packed with deft prose, historical facts, and captivating characters leaving this reader begging for more.
Karen Odden earned her Ph.D. in English from New York University and subsequently taught literature at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has contributed essays to numerous books and journals, written introductions for Victorian novels in the Barnes & Noble classics series and edited for the journal Victorian Literature and Culture (Cambridge UP). Her previous novels, also set in 1870s London, have won awards for historical fiction and mystery. A member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime and the recipient of a grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Karen lives in Arizona with her family and her rescue beagle Rosy.