This is the second book in the Stephens and Mephisto series. The combination of police inspector and magician/actor is unusual, although to be honest I don’t think Mephisto really carries his half of the detective work.
Two children have gone missing and the hope to find them unharmed is dwindling fast. There seem to suspects galore and plenty of strange connections to nefarious scenarios.
Annie has an obsession with the real origin of fairy-tales. The dark murderous side of old children’s tales. Is that where the truth lies? Is the person who took them connected to her obsession or is the truth hidden in the world of magic and theatre.
Griffiths mixes the pain of the World Wars with the close knitted community of theatre performers. Actors and magicians with their secrets, mysteries and quirks.
The story is set in the 1950’s, before crime scene technology was available and police had to rely on proof other than DNA. Each lead is followed no matter how bizarre or outlandish it may seem.
The beginning was good, but I think Griffiths could have done with making the plot a little tighter towards the end. Incorporating the folk tale and darker side of fairy-tales with the dysfunctional dynamics of family and reality was very interesting.
Overall a pleasant read.