On the 21st November 1890, Julius Dunne-Smythe – a wealthy coffee manufacturer – his wife, his sister in law and his butler creep quietly out of their home in the middle of the night, sneak into a carriage and drive off, never to be seen again.
When a few weeks later Dunne-Smythe’s business partner discovers some discrepancies in the company’s book keeping, Dunne-Smythe is suspected of embezzling the company and running away. The case is swiftly handed over to Detective Sergeant John Billings of Scotland Yard.
As Billings delves deeper into the case, he finds that all the clues to the mysterious disappearance lead back to one man; the enigmatic German butler who had recently been employed by Dunne-Smythe. The butler appears to have had a disproportionate amount of influence on the family. After looking into the butler’s past, Billings discovers a dark and disturbing secret which may well put the lives of Dunne-Smythe and his relatives in danger. What initially seemed like a simple case of theft, now looks like something far more sinister.
I am going to jump right out of the gate and start by saying as much as I enjoyed the first two entries in this series, Something Sinister is mystery at its finest and knocking on the door of 1940s style noir with a little present day creepiness factor added, so basically if you love suspense then this is the one for you. Will the missing Dunne-Smythe family be found? Do they want to be found?
I always have a hard time when it comes to doing reviews of mysteries because even though I don't ever do spoilers, so often in a mystery even the little things can be a plot giveaway. So lets focus on Billings himself. He still hasn't accepted himself and when he does verge on giving into his desires fate has other plans, but even that may lead to answers he wasn't aware of so perhaps fate knows what she is doing after all. His determination and passion to solve the mystery his way is inspiring but if there is one wish I have for him it would be to find some true happiness in his personal life using that same determination and passion.
There are so many factors that will keep you on your toes trying to figure out what each new page will bring, if you love mystery then Something Sinister is one you do not want to miss. It may be the third installment in the series but it can be read as a standalone but I highly recommend reading the first two if only to get a little insight into Billings mind and job.
Born to Dutch parents and raised in Colombia and England, I am a rootless wanderer with itchy feet. I've spent the last few years living and working in The Netherlands, Czech Republic, Sudan and Bulgaria, but I have every confidence that I will now finally be able to settle down among the olive groves of Andalucia.
I'm an avid reader and film fan and I have an MA in creative writing for film and television.
Something Sinister #2
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