Black Out (Inspector Troy series Book 1)
If historical thrillers are your cup of tea, I highly recommend "Black Out. Jun 25, drk rated it liked it. Nearly gave up on this one as the first few chapters were very, very slow and plodding then it suddenly took off at a furious pace and became a far more interesting read. Sergeant Troy has the makings of a good character but his sexual escapades in the second half seemed so at odds with the initial portrayal of Troy that I wondered if his publisher had told the author to 'spice it up a bit'.
For someone who was bombed, stabbed, beaten up and shot he seemed to have a remarkable libido, managing t Nearly gave up on this one as the first few chapters were very, very slow and plodding then it suddenly took off at a furious pace and became a far more interesting read. For someone who was bombed, stabbed, beaten up and shot he seemed to have a remarkable libido, managing to seduce yet another woman whilst black and blue, concussed, blinded and with stitches in various parts of his anatomy. I will read another in the series, hopefully the author will have toned things down a little.
Dec 30, Charles Fried rated it liked it.
I love stories set in this era. This one is atmospheric and full of detailed scenes and characters. And lots of plot twists. But the string of coincidences strains credibility. Oct 10, Christopher Williams rated it liked it. Thought this was good. First of the series I have read. It is set in London and follows a Scotland Yard detective Freddie Troy, in a case involving a number of murders, or possible murders; American Special Operatives;. Troy's boss Onions was a great character and the London of was well described. Looking forward to reading more by this author. View all 3 comments.
Jan 26, Vicki rated it really liked it. Author John Lawton is a new discovery for me, and I am delighted that I stumbled upon his book! Inspector Troy is a perfect mix of Sherlock Holmesian analysis and the intuitive sleuthing of the John Le Carre' Cold War spies, with British humor and upper class sensibilities mixed in.
Frederick Troy is the youngest son of Russian parents living in Eng Author John Lawton is a new discovery for me, and I am delighted that I stumbled upon his book! Frederick Troy is the youngest son of Russian parents living in England, but his older brother and sisters emigrated with the parents shortly after the death of Trotsky in Russia.
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His dad has been successful in journalism and the family is very comfortable. Troy is young, single, and his single minded pursuit of truth and justice can be diverted from time to time by attention from beautiful women, who may or may not be the enemy. The mystery begins with the accidental discovery of a body part by a group of kids. A stray dog brings an arm to one of the boys in a park, laying it trustingly at his feet. When Troy is brought in, he deduces a great deal about the victim just from the details he observes The arm must belong to a resident alien, quite likely a German who worked with chemicals.
Before long Troy has linked the arm victim Herr Cufflink, they call him , to another murder victim Herr Trousers , who had been killed a couple of months earlier. Before long Troy is convinced that he is in pursuit of a serial killer of German men, and it looks like the victims may have been munitions workers, perhaps getting close to some discoveries that could lead to even bigger and more deadly weapons.
The clues lead to suspects among a loose knit group of communists, but more curiously, to both English and American forces who may fancy themselves above the law. Lots of bombings and flyovers, lots of references to ration cards and depleted supplies, and lots of surveillance. The mystery of who has been killed is gradually revealed, but the why takes a little longer. The wait is worth it, and the good news is that there are 6 or 7 more Inspector Troy mysteries waiting in the wings when you finish Black Out.
Remember the name John Lawton Mar 16, Ron rated it really liked it Shelves: general-fiction , ebook. More like 3. A gritty Lord Peter Whimsy with a badge. Set in WW2 London, the story overflows with details of that time and place. I can only hope they are more correct than the smattering of details about America, because many of them are slightly off. It's a great mystery that we follow our protagonist through the solution to series of gruesome murders almost adding himself to the body count several times. The outcome feels rushed. Speaking of feeling, the whole thi More like 3.
Speaking of feeling, the whole thing feels just a bit modern. Some style quibbles. Having introduced us to Troy's "Bullnose Morris" Lawton needn't call it that every time it's mentioned again. Since the Bullnose models were produced in , it would have been quite the antique by While allusions to Sherlock Holmes and Lord Peter Whimsey enhanced the story telling, "the plot thickens" was too much.
All in all, a good read. Oct 28, James rated it liked it Shelves: fiction , crime. A book that occupies that happy intersection, for me at least, between crime novels and WWII history. I try not to think about what this says about me. Anyway our hero a young policemne is tasked with solving a series of grisly murders while each night the bombs murder hundreds more. The book beats strongest when it brings London under the blitz to life.
It gets rather convuluted in the end and perhaps the plot does not bear much thought but it is all rather fun and yet again i found myself comp A book that occupies that happy intersection, for me at least, between crime novels and WWII history. It gets rather convuluted in the end and perhaps the plot does not bear much thought but it is all rather fun and yet again i found myself complelled to race through the last pages. Dec 31, Margaret Sankey rated it liked it. Very much a dark version of Foyle's War, this is the start of a procedural series set in WWII London, with a cynical Scotland Yard inspector tired of being sneered at for being in a reserved occupation, especially when looters, murderers and dangerous internal threats remain at large in the bombed out streets.
Lawton strikes a good balance of stiff upper lip and naked opportunism. An entertaining read with a lot of intersting characters. The author's vocabulary is extensive, and I used my Nook's dictionary feature much more than I normally do. The ending seemed too abrupt. Plan on reading others in this series. Sep 27, Sam Reaves rated it really liked it. This is the first in John Lawton's excellent series of WWII-era crime novels featuring Frederick Troy, a first-generation Englishman, youngest son of an exiled Russian aristocrat, who becomes an inspector in the London Metropolitan Police.
I'd read a couple of later novels in the series; they stand on their own but I'd recommend starting with this one, as there's a lot of recurring back story in the series. This one takes place in a battered and darkened London in , with the Luftwaffe sending This is the first in John Lawton's excellent series of WWII-era crime novels featuring Frederick Troy, a first-generation Englishman, youngest son of an exiled Russian aristocrat, who becomes an inspector in the London Metropolitan Police.
This one takes place in a battered and darkened London in , with the Luftwaffe sending over desperation raids as forces build up all over southern England for the D-Day invasion. Bodies are turning up in the rubble which were not killed in air raids; Troy determines that someone is killing exiled German scientists.
The trail leads through a gaggle of East European expatriates to the upper reaches of the American army command; a lusty blonde WAF tugs Troy one way while a cool English femme fatale tugs him another. Troy will be damned if he lets people get away with murder for reasons of state. He takes a beating, physically and mentally. There is lots of atmosphere, anguish, love among the ruins, and death in mass quantities.
If we are lucky we will never see a war like that one again; Lawton's novel is here to remind us just how blacked out civilization was in those dark years. Feb 04, Pete rated it liked it Shelves: first-in-series , thriller , political-intrigue , mystery. A pretty entertaining start to the series. Good mystery elements but the reader should be warned that a scorecard will be needed to keep track of all the characters. Some nice touches of humor but the author got a bit carried away with the sexual escapades.
For someone who had been stabbed, beaten and bombed twice, Troy seemed to have quite an active libido. Nov 02, Nancy Cook-senn rated it liked it. Police procedure in World War II London is continually hampered by the war effort, American presence and increasingly problematic spy puzzle. Vivid atmosphere, some intriguing characters, but not completely satisfying. Jul 23, Paul rated it it was ok Shelves: mystery , e-book , history. I started this book in a happily anticipatory state, looking forward to a good read about life and crime in wartime London.
As I progressed I became more and more disappointed. The characters, so interesting at first, did not develop past first impressions; in fact they became flatter as they committed increasingly improbable actions without adequate explanation. Some of the novel's key plot points were simply not credible. The protagonist, Scotland Yard Inspector Troy, is a member of England's m I started this book in a happily anticipatory state, looking forward to a good read about life and crime in wartime London.
The protagonist, Scotland Yard Inspector Troy, is a member of England's monied class and the product of an expensive education, chums with important members of the aristocracy and perhaps even a few royals. Yet we must believe he has abandoned it all to become a policeman. He does not realize the person who badly beats him in a dark alley is the high society woman he's sleeping with until, during a second fight, she shoots him with a pistol.
That the American woman Troy is also sleeping with, a sergeant assigned to the London office of the OSS, is more than a mere secretary is clear enough to the reader if not to Troy; still it seems wrenchingly contrived when when she conveniently turns out to be a major in the Soviet spy service. Wartime London is casually described with less detail than I expected.
The sex, while described in more detail, seems joyless. The principle villains, the aforesaid woman and an American OSS agent, are uninteresting characters about whom we really learn very little, mere foils throughout. We never find out why the British society woman takes up the role of the OSS agent's hit man. We never learn why the German and Polish emigres were murdered or what they were up to that drew the attention of the OSS. We never learn why the Soviets are involved. Improbable plot points, flat characters, too many unanswered questions I suspect that's what the author was aiming toward.
He fell short. Black Out introduces Sgt. Fred Troy, a detective solving a series of vicious murders, with clues leading him on a complicated and twisted trail, also involving MI5. In addition to having a tough case to solve, Troy must cope with the day to day realities of wartime London- bombing raids, rations, and shortages of various kinds. It took a while to grasp the group of players in this well constructed mystery, complete with a few twists that I did not see coming. As a collector of WW2 Fiction, I am happy to add this book to my Ww2 fiction shelf, and intend to read the next volume, Old Flames , set in London after the war, as the cleanup begins, and the Cold War evolves.
Troy, as a character, is not always likeable, but demands respect in that he is driven by his passion to serve and carry out the law. Coming from an aristocratic and well to do family, he reminds me a little of Elizabeth George's Thomas Lynley. Coppers are not usually from the upper classes. Troy is not too comfortable with his background, but he is coldly passionate about his work. During the progression of the plot, Lawton gives us glimpses of some of the other aspects of Troy's personality and character, enough to ensure that I will be back, to follow along on his next case, and to be entertained by an interesting supporting cast.
Mar 28, Elli rated it really liked it Shelves: crime-criminal-activity , england , world-war Another author new to me that I like quite well. Detective Troy is a policeman now working for Scotland Yard who gets called in for a particularly gruesome murder case. The atmosphere is rough anyway, food and basic necessities are not easy to come by, and you are always on alert to go to safety when the bombings happen and plenty don't make it.
Lawton recreates the setting and atmosphere very well giving a picture of the problem Another author new to me that I like quite well. Lawton recreates the setting and atmosphere very well giving a picture of the problems and tenseness of the people involved, also how the children responded and carried on with their lives as well. The relationships between the characters and the departments involved are presented in strong three dimensional depth and the personal histories are brought out in such a way as to broaden the period as well.
I feel I have had another strong visit to this particular world and my knowledge of the people, how they lived, their attitudes and why they felt in those ways has increased. It was a period of great change, really the end of one era going toward the beginnings of another. Am looking forward to reading the next in this Inspector Troy series. I have heard it said that sometimes fiction will tell more of the real truth than a recitation of facts. And that's how I feel about this book. Alot probably would most likely not be true in a factual manner, but somehow that it is there does express something about the tenuousness and the lack of any strong personal stability that you could grab onto then in living in that particular wartime situation.
Readers also enjoyed. About John Lawton. John Lawton. He thinks he may well be the only TV director ever to be named in a Parliamentary Bill in the British House of Lords as an offender against taste and balance. Since he has lived in the high, wet hills ofDerbyshire England, with frequent excursions into the high, dry hills of Arizona and Italy. He is the author of , a social and political history of the Kennedy-Macmillan years, six thrillers in the Troy series and a stand-alone novel, Sweet Sunday. In Columbia Pictures bought the fourth Troy novel Riptide. Other books in the series.
Inspector Troy 8 books. Books by John Lawton. Trivia About Black Out Inspec No trivia or quizzes yet. Quotes from Black Out. Welcome back. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Mystery Lovers! I kept thinking, "enough already. He's beaten, shot, stabbed, trampled, blown up, and still he keeps coming. Just like a Steven Seagal character. Again, enough already. And finally, I found the novel to be shockingly overwritten at times. For example: "She pressed her lips upon his.
A momentary glance as their eyes met before she closed hers and time past overflowed into time present and the smell of her scent threatened death by drowning and with it the awful, inescapable stench of carbide gas and the brief glimpse of the swirling dust of carnage before his overloaded senses forced it from his mind and the touch of [her] drenched him. I redacted the character name above so as not to spoil anything.
Overwritten, overplotted, over-sexed in parts. This is not a Le Carre-like novel. May 26, Manray9 rated it did not like it Shelves: cops-or-crime. While Lawton effectively recreates the atmosphere of wartime London, the plot begs more questions than it answers.
What was Lady Diana's motivation? Was she simply unable to resist the Svengali-like Wayne? Was she insane? Why were the boffins killed -- because they were Communists who wouldn't help with the war effort or because they were Communists who went West to help with the war effort? Carroll's White Rabbit was a m While Lawton effectively recreates the atmosphere of wartime London, the plot begs more questions than it answers.
Carroll's White Rabbit was a more believable character than Tosca. The whole story just didn't pan out. Inept describes the detecting skills of Lawton's character, Sgt. Freddie Troy. He can't tail suspects, is always caught by surprise in dangerous situations, and blunders from one life-threatening crisis to another. Troy makes Clouseau look like Philip Marlowe! He has a character, an era of interest and feeling, now all he needs are some story-telling skills and he'll be a novelist!
Nov 27, Pamela rated it it was ok. Not really police procedural, not really espionage, not really thriller, not really realistic. Marred by caricatures with a bent for silly porny bits. Lawton is an American author who sets his novels in Britain. Curiously, his American characters are the least realistic and the most annoying. My 2nd book by this author and the first of the Inspector Troy series.
Good book, short and quick chapters that move the action along. Here Sergeant Troy is tasked with finding the murderer when the only clue is a severed arm found amid the rubble of a bombed area of London. This quickly turns into the search since a 2nd murder victim is identified and then a potential 3rd victim who has disappeared without a trace.
It is interesting in that in this book the bad guys are those in the CIA OSS at the time and we have an interesting interplay with a Communist leaning femme fatale along with a OSS Communist hunter, and then there is Sergeant Troy who has mixed loyalties. His family came from Eastern Europe, but he was a British citizen who is not overly patriotic, but rather is in search of Justice.
A lot of interesting characters, but as in Lawton's other books we get information sort of just dumped on us. As in his other books the ending is a bit far fetched, but overall it is a good effort. Troy is not an overly sympathetic character because he rushes full speed into things, get shot a few times, beaten severely, hospitalized, etc. Good book, may read another or so from this author. Again, it you like this sort of mystery books then it will be a different and good read for you.
Nov 02, Steven Z. I have been a fan of Alan Furst for years. His evocative approach to espionage and his character development made his World War II noirs exciting and hard to put down. Now, I have discovered another master of that genre, John Lawton. The night before this incident an American soldier gets his throat cut at Trafalgar Square. Wolinski supposedly had taught college in Germany until Hitler forced him to leave and was a close friend of Bonham. Once the investigation commences we begin to meet a series of interesting characters that include Ladislaw Kolankiewicz, who since had been the senior pathologist in Herndon.
Cooperating with Kolankiewicz, Troy pieces together the possibility that the two deaths and another missing person are all linked. Pym at MI5, and a Colonel Zelig at American headquarters in London to obtain answers he is stonewalled by both and gets nowhere, reaffirming his suspicions that all three incidents are linked to rocket development by the Germans. His family emigrated from Russia after Stalin took control. Two women are also present to confuse and cajole Troy. The novel places the reader in the heart of London right before D Day, June 6, Characters have to deal with shortages of food and other staples.
In addition, we witness the underground community that lives beneath London subways to escape years of bombing, and English resentment of American soldiers who seem to have taken over their country and especially their women. At this time the United States and the Soviet Union, realizing that the end of Nazi Germany will soon be at hand engage in a race to bring out of Germany as many scientists and intelligence assets that they can.
Throughout the narrative the author merges his own opinion of certain historical figures that are not only humorous at times, but very accurate. For example, Lawton references General Dwight D. He went quickly back to the car. Was it worth a try? One bald-headed American was probably much the same as any other bald-headed American. The only difference lay in the amount of scrambled egg on the cap. Though, being fair, Troy felt Ike had better table manners. Troy finds himself in the middle of turf battles of allied intelligence agencies throughout the book.
His investigation is blocked by both agencies and his fight to solve, what he thinks are four murders in the shadowy background of D Day and after is fascinating. Lawton first installment of Detective Troy is a great read and I look forward to engaging the entire series. Shelves: spy-political-thriller , historical-fiction , in-inventory-billings , reviewed. My first Lawton novel - turns out it was his first, also. Whatever, I enjoyed the book immensely. It met three of my criteria for reading it in the first place.
One, it takes place during WW II. Two, it's a spy story. Three, it has a number of twists and turns, keeping me guessing. People believe the war is winding down even though the invasion of France is looming. Troy is called to investigate a strange mystery in which a man My first Lawton novel - turns out it was his first, also. Troy is called to investigate a strange mystery in which a man's arm is discovered separate from the rest of the body. While the scene itself is interesting enough, we begin to meet the dozens of fascinating characters, Lawton will weave into the story.
There are so many of them I won't list them here. Their categories are relevant to the plot. This group includes Troy's family whose parents left Russia and ended up in England via Austria.
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Lastly, there are folks from the English aristocracy, Germans and other assorted miscellaneous characters. Somehow, Lawton is able to keep them all sorted out for the reader. The plot is complicated. The only constant is Troy's pursuit of answers, often against orders and just as often putting him in extreme danger. His pursuit of justice during the war and into peacetime defines his character but makes him difficult for others to understand.
His boss, Superintendent Onion has labeled him the best intuitive detective around. He is extremely bright and a little bit arrogant but also intelligent and vulnerable. The plot provides many surprises as Troy works his cases. They eventually make sense but not always at the time Lawton introduces them. The ending is satisfying even though it leaves the reader having to come to his or her own conclusion as to what is the final outcome. I so enjoyed this book, that I plan to read more of Lawton's work.
Black Out (Inspector Troy, #1) by John Lawton
Aug 14, Evelyn rated it really liked it. If Goodreads allowed nuance in their ratings, I'd give this a 3. It starts out strong and carries the reader along, but some of the twists and turns begin to seem implausible, while some of the solutions simply don't tie up cleanly enough to satisfy. It's and Frederick Troy is a young, up-and-comer Scotland Yard detective. He's recognized as a gifted natural, but he's also known to be a bit of a maverick. For the reader, that's what makes him so interesting. He's also the UK-born scion of a Russian immigrant family who transformed themselves into posh, plummy, decorated landed-gentry in just one generation.
But Troy loves what he does. Over the course of this novel, as he tries to solve the mystery of why a group of German scientists who defected to the Allies are turning up dead in bombed out London and its environs, he also gets to rub shoulders with Briton's MI5 and MI6 as well as agents of the OSS which after WWII evolved into the US's CIA and some seriously upper crust characters. Jul 12, Pam rated it really liked it. However, once he started interacting with his peers, it all fell into place.
The atmosphere is fantastic complete with bombed out neighborhoods that are rubble and air raids spent in the Underground shelters.
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In this war-time mystery, someone is killing refugees who are known communists. The clues are slim and the leads tenuously take Troy to the top echelons of Allied Command. As you can imagine that doesn't sit well with his superiors and the Government. Then the book morphs and you realize the story is actually a BIG cold war spy novel. At that point I was hooked. Flashbacks to LeCarre and those awesome cold war spy novels of the last century I devoured in college came roaring back.
Do you realize it has been years since we've had a good spy novel? Well this one starts at the beginning and I'm happy to say there are plenty of Inspector Troy novels to entertain me for a while! I enjoyed this book, although I thought it got ridiculous when the main character suddenly changed from a reasoned, intelligent person to a ridiculous man being entirely led by his prick - might happen in real life but didn't ring true here!
Good evocation of a London during wartime, although I felt it was slightly too ambitious, starting as a routine police procedure to become an international cold war spy thriller. Jul 24, Kathy Davie rated it really liked it Shelves: thriller. First in the Inspector Troy thriller series and revolving around a Scotland Yard cop who pursues his man in London. Then again, the way the story ended makes me wonder what Troy did. And I do want an answer to Major Toskevich's obscure statement. Inquiring minds want to know! Lawton's technical writing is amazing — I only remember a few blips that bugged me.
As for creating a pull…no. Sure I wanted to know if First in the Inspector Troy thriller series and revolving around a Scotland Yard cop who pursues his man in London. Sure I wanted to know if and when Troy got the bad guy, but I didn't feel invested in him. Nor did those obscure clues help.
I felt as though Troy was getting a lot more information than I was. I sure don't see why MI5 needs Troy to do the investigating. Why was Tosca so quickly accommodating? How could and why he be so stupid about Diana? What about her perfume?? How did Troy make that connection between the victims? Lawton did pull me in with the setting. I was there. I felt the London of with its manners, culture, clothing, attitudes! I suspect how casually the police treated evidence and bodies — they stuck the arm out the window to keep it cold! That bit about Heath Row being built.
That new term, air port? What's wrong with aerodrome? Yep, it definitely felt real. I did enjoy the outraged wife selling off her straying husband's toys, lol. Onions says that Troy is one of his bright boys, but I sure wouldn't want to hang around him too much. He gets blown up, beat up, shot up, lost half a kidney, and more, multiple times.
The Story A neatly dismembered corpse leads DS Troy into a world of stateless refugees, military intelligence, and corruption all the way to the top of Allied High Command. Masha and Sasha are his older twin sisters. Their husbands are Hugh who captains a minesweeper and Lawrence who has a staff job at the War Office.
Can be hard to stay with the flow as Troy, easily the most "bombed" policeman in English History, with enough wounds and injuries than most Purple Heart candidates, battles almost every authority available to solve the murders. John Lawton author. Magersfontein Lugg.
Inspector troy books in order
Office of Strategic Services, the wartime spy agency. Books Read in 2, No current Talk conversations about this book. World War II CSDaley Mar 28, This is a murder mystery set in war-time London, and I believe it is the first in the Inspector Troy series. A dandy novel. Frederick Troy is the British antithesis to Bernie Gunther. You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data. Frederick Troy 1. Frederick Troy Chronological Black Out. Frederick Troy. Jack Wildeve. Stanley Onions. Nikolai Troytsky.