The Whispering Gallery is full of questions. Who is the man who falls from the gallery of St Paul’s Cathedral killing a priest? Did he fall or was he pushed? Or worse still, did he commit suicide? Fortunately for John Steadman, reporter with the Daily News, he’s in St Paul’s when the incident happens, waiting to propose to his girlfriend. Steadman jumps at such a great story and investigates by knocking on doors, interviewing people and making the most of his policeman friend Matt.
But as well as this investigation, Steadman has also come to the attention of a sadistic mystery murderer who is systematically murdering women and sending body parts to Steadman with coded messages connected to saints’ days. Although the murderer ultimately plans to kill Steadman, he continues to investigate and report his successes in his newspaper to draw the murderer out.
Sanderson beautifully captures 1930s London, trapped in an oppressive heatwave and pulls the reader into a world of gruesome murders and a sexual underworld where the police seem to rub shoulders with criminals. The final scenes are not for the faint-hearted but, as a fan of crime novels and thrillers, I lapped it up, unwilling to put the book down until I was finished.A very satisfying read and I can’t wait to see what Mark Sanderson does next. More John Steadman please!