I’ve just finished the seventh book in Gentil’s Rowland Sinclair series, Give the Devil His Due…and book eight is not due until September next year! How can I possible wait that long for my next fix of Rowly, Edna, Milton and Clyde?
Especially since Give the Devil His Due was one of the stand out best books in the series to date.
A darker edge is creeping in as the series gains momentum and complexity. Rowly is coming up against more dangerous and devious characters each time.
This time round, Rowly and his friends experienced lots of action and intrigue centred around the Maroubra speedway and the murder of a journalist.
Threats, romance, political intrigue, art exhibitions, covens, the effects of the Depression and illegal gambling dens kept me second guessing and rather anxious at times.
As usual we had some surprise celebrity visits – with Errol Flynn and speed queen Joan Richmond joining Rowly’s team for a charity race, Arthur Stace was spotted chalking his ‘eternity’ sign on the pavements of Sydney, a catch-up with Norman Lindsay proved disappointing and meeting with Rosaleen Norton at the beginning of her career as artist and witch was intense!
The seedier side of Sydney was also represented when Rowly and friends had a run-in with the notorious Dr Reginald Stuart Jones, the abortionist and good-time dandy who had unsavoury links to Sydney’s criminal gangs and bookies.
Politics also got a look in with a visit from Prime Minister Lyons and the usual dust up with Eric Campbell from the right-wing Centre Party.
Given the interesting times we now live in, Gentill’s portrayal of the rise of Fascism around the world in the 1930’s felt even more pertinent than usual.
|Image courtesy of Vintage Speedways.|
However what I loved the most was the development of deeper more complex relationships.
Not just with Rowly and his friends (oh Rowly and Ed just go for it!) but also with his brother, mother and nephews. It is these connections that provide the light and shade amongst all the drama.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of Rowly’s company yet, then I urge you to start at the beginning of this cosy crime series, so that you can enjoy every single captivating step.
P.S. I may be a little in love, and therefore a little biased, when it comes to Rowly!
#1 A Few Right Thinking Men
#2 A Decline in Prophets
#3 Miles Off Course
#4 Paving the New Road
#5 Gentlemen Formerly Dressed
#6 A Murder Unmentioned
#7 Give the Devil His Due
Prequel – The Prodigal Son (e-book only – download your copy here.)
#8 – A Dangerous Language – due Sept 2017 –