Will Darling came back from the Great War with a few scars, a lot of medals, and no idea what to do next. Inheriting his uncle’s chaotic second-hand bookshop is a blessing…until strange visitors start making threats. First a criminal gang, then the War Office, both telling Will to give them the information they want, or else.
Will has no idea what that information is, and nobody to turn to, until Kim Secretan—charming, cultured, oddly attractive—steps in to offer help. As Kim and Will try to find answers and outrun trouble, mutual desire grows along with the danger.
And then Will discovers the truth about Kim. His identity, his past, his real intentions. Enraged and betrayed, Will never wants to see him again.
But Will possesses knowledge that could cost thousands of lives. Enemies are closing in on him from all sides—and Kim is the only man who can help.
cw: violence, murder, imprisonment, spanish flu/plague discussions, chemical warfare related to diseases, war, explicit sex scenes
Quite a good read overall, with compelling characters and great writing.
So yeah, the plot is compelling, with a lot of actions and everything you can expect for a book about secret scientific formulas and gangs.
Just after World War I, Will inherits his uncle’s bookshop and with it, the secret that inhabits it: Darven, a now dead scientific, asked Will’s uncle to hide his ground-breaking discovery, a chemical warfare, but a lot of people including the War Office and a gang of so-called anarchists are after it. The only problem? Will has no idea what this is all about.
I couldn’t put the book down for 3 days, and as I am quite pleased with my reading, I was just a tiny bit disturbed by all these explicit sex scenes — I did not expect that when I first opened the book. But once I understood that it was an important detail for the story, or more like an important part of the relationship between Will and Kim that kept building up alongside the plot, it was okay. I finally got used to it popping-up during the narrative, unannounced (Christ, Will, you just got attacked, how getting laid is your first thought?) and then once I put that unease feeling aside, I managed to enjoy the rest of the story.
But those popping-up unannounced sex scenes are mostly the only negative aspect of this book I can think of. I recommend it for any fans of fast-paced Mafia stories set in the roaring twenties, and expect the second book (coming soon) with (im)patience.