The year is 1919 and a riot and explosions rock San Francisco’s St Patrick’s Day parade, the perpetrators targeting a young woman in the crowd. Captain Gabe Ryon tries to figure out the connection between the attack and the growing number of murdered Russian immigrants. Meanwhile his wife, Delia, is haunted by the ghost of a European princess.
The novel is split between Gabe and Delia’s efforts to understand what’s happening and stop the murders. It’s great seeing how the investigation covers both procedural and spiritualist methods. The mystery is intense, with a lot of twists.
It’s a real joy seeing a book that has several loving couples and deep friendships. While you can read this book independently of the previous two in the series (Delia’s Shadow and A Barricade in Hell), you’ve definitely got a deeper sense of the relationships and how the characters have come to trust and rely on each other if you’ve read the other books.
Perhaps that’s why the books, though dealing with disturbing subject matter, leave one with a feeling of positivity. There’s a good amount of death and darkness, but the stories read more like cosy mysteries than hardboiled detective fiction.
It’s a fast paced book that makes good use of an interesting time and setting. This is a series I highly recommend.