Review

Flesh Wounds

by John Lawton



Frederick Troy was twenty-nine years old in 1944. While London was
recovering from the bombings that ravished parts of the city, Det.
Sgt. Troy was recovering from a gunshot that ravished his kidney
and small intestine. Thus the theme is set for the latest novel in
this mystery series as it compares and contrasts the fallout
wrought by world warfare and gang warfare.

Ladslaw Kolankiewicz, arms expert and longtime friend, insists on
teaching Troy how to defend himself. So even though Troy believes
in an unarmed police force, he spends weeks becoming proficient in
every handgun available because Kolankiewicz does not want to see
him shot to death. Troy is surrounded by many such close friends
and they remain together over the years as the novel picks up again
in 1959.

It is then that one of his best mates is killed by a car bomb blast
and Troy is injured as well. While on sick leave he spends an
inordinate amount of time in bed, and not alone. Not only is he
separated from his wife, but his lover, Foxx, hands him an
ultimatum, and he is comforted by his doctor, Anna, in very
non-medical fashion. Then along comes his old flame from America,
who is now the wife of a presidential hopeful, but all Kate wants
to do is spark up Troy again. Whew.

The first half of FLESH WOUNDS reads like a soap opera with tiny
bubbles of the mystery barely visible. Even after mutilated bodies
start showing up, the investigation takes a back seat to
simultaneous affairs, historical detours and various manipulations
designed to get Troy to intervene with his Opposition Party Leader
brother, Rod, for political favors. But once our Chief
Superintendent becomes serious about getting to the bottom of
things, we are offered an excellent look at the police work that
has made Scotland Yard a force to be reckoned with.

John Lawton has written an ambitious book that encompasses postwar
politics, ruthless gang activities, old-fashioned police work, and
relationships complicated enough to make Danielle Steel smile.
Lawton is not afraid to push the envelope when it comes to the
horrific violence of the underworld or to traditionally taboo
sexual themes. The work is perceptive and witty while the English
vernacular is fun and definitely increases the reader's store of
epithets.

Flesh Wounds
by John Lawton

  • Publication Date: February 18, 2005
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
  • ISBN-10: 0871136988
  • ISBN-13: 9780871136985