“Second Violin is the work of an accomplished author who draws you into the story through fully developed characters and plot twists that keep you engrossed. I'm not sure how I missed Lawton's earlier Inspector Troy titles, but I will make up for it by recommending them to anyone who loves historical fiction, thrillers, or just a good yarn.”
— Ann Carlson, Harborwalk Books, Georgetown, SC
One of today's top historical espionage writers, considered "as good as Le Carr " (Chicago Tribune) and "a master" (Rocky Mountain News), John Lawton adds another spellbinding thriller to his Inspector Troy series with Second Violin. The sixth installment in the series, Lawton's new novel opens in 1938 with Europe on the brink of war. In London, Frederick Troy, newly promoted to the prestigious murder squad at Scotland Yard, is put in charge of rounding up a list of German and Italian "enemy aliens" that also includes Frederick's brother, Rod, who learns upon receiving an internment letter that he was born in Austria despite having grown up in England. Hundreds of men are herded by train to a neglected camp on the Isle of Man. And as the bombs start falling on London, a murdered rabbi is found, then another, and another. Amid great war, murder is what matters. Moving from the Nazi-infested alleys of prewar Vienna to the bombed-out streets of 1940 London, and featuring an extraordinary cast of characters, Lawton's latest thriller is a suspenseful and intelligent novel, as good a spy story as it is an historical narrative.