MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Summary and book reviews of Ten Second Staircase by Christopher Fowler

Ten Second Staircase

Bryant & May Mysteries

by Christopher Fowler

Ten Second Staircase by Christopher Fowler X
Ten Second Staircase by Christopher Fowler
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jun 2006, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2007, 496 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

It’s a crime tailor-made for the Peculiar Crimes Unit: a controversial artist is murdered and displayed as part of her own outrageous installation. No suspects, no motive, no evidence – it’s business as usual for the Unit’s cantankerous founding partners, Arthur Bryant and John May. But this time they have an eyewitness. According to twelve-year-old Luke Tripp, the killer was a cape-clad highwayman atop a black stallion.

As implausible as the boy’s story sounds, Bryant and May take it seriously when “The Highwayman” is spotted again, striking a dramatic pose at the scene of his next outlandish murder. Whatever the killer’s real identity, he seems intent on killing off a string of minor celebrities while becoming one himself.

As the tabloids look to make a quick bundle on “Highwayman Fever,” Bryant and May, along with the newest member of the Unit, May’s agoraphobic granddaughter, April, find themselves sorting out a case involving an unlikely combination of artistic rivalries, sleazy sex affairs, the Knights Templars, and street gang feuds. To do it, they’re going to have to use every orthodox–and unorthodox–means at their disposal, including myth, witchcraft, and the psychogeographic history of the city’s “monsters,” past and present.

And if one unsolvable crime weren’t enough, this case has disturbing links to a decades-old killing spree that nearly destroyed the partnership of Bryant and May once before…and may again. The Peculiar Crimes Unit is one murder away from being closed down for good–and that murder could be their own.

1
CRADLE TO GRAVE


MEMORANDUM
PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL


Attachments Supplied: 3458SD, 19904KT

To: Leslie Faraday, Senior Home Office Liaison Officer
From: Raymond Land, Acting Head, PCU, London NW1 3BL
Date: Monday, 17 October

Dear Mr Faraday,
Thank you for your correspondence of 26 September requesting further details concerning my tenure at the North London Peculiar Crimes Unit.

If I understand you correctly, you wish me to outline the recent problems I have experienced at this unit from a personal perspective. While I am loath to commit myself in writing over such a delicate matter, and dislike 'telling tales' on staff members despite their extreme lack of co-operation over the last few months, I feel the time has come to unburden myself to someone in a position of greater authority. In short, Mr Faraday, I can no longer maintain my silence. I have simply reached the end of my tether.

I appreciate that, as the 'new broom' at HO Special ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for a year or $39 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

This is Fowler's 14th book and his fourth in the Bryant and May series that started with Full Dark House (2003); followed by The Water Room (2004) and Seventy-Seven Clocks (2005) which some reviewers felt was a little disappointing. However, all agree that he is definitely back on form with Ten Second Staircase, with some saying that it is his best yet...continued

Full Review (236 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Far superior to the author's best earlier work, this fine effort places Fowler in the first rank of contemporary mystery writers and whets the appetite for the next Bryant and May case.

Library Journal
Fowler offers a distinctive prose style and characters so unusual that it is difficult to think of another author's work this creative...for readers who enjoy a bit of the bizarre in their mysteries.

Kirkus Reviews
Fowler has a glorious command of language...and has the most fertile conversational patter of anyone ....how many locked-room puzzles can the duo unlock before their Peculiar Crimes unit is disbanded? Many more, one hopes.

The New York Times - Marilyn Stasio
Fowler is in exuberant form here.

Booklist
Starred Review. This fourth Bryant and May novel delivers a delirious blend of black humor and suspense—recommend it to readers looking for something different in an English procedural.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for a year or $39 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by Christopher Fowler

If you liked Ten Second Staircase, try these:

  • The Rabbit Factory jacket

    The Rabbit Factory

    by Marshall Karp

    Published 2007

    About this book

    More books by this author

    Bringing a fresh duo of cops to the thriller set, The Rabbit Factory is both suspenseful and satiric; a taut mystery wrapped in sharp, comedic prose.

  • Before The Frost jacket

    Before The Frost

    by Henning Mankell

    Published 2006

    About this book

    More books by this author

    In this latest atmospheric thriller, Kurt Wallander and his daughter Linda, just graduated from the police academy, join forces to search for a religious fanatic on a murder spree and soon find themselves forced to confront a group of extremists bent on punishing the world's sinners.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for a year or $39 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Book of Longings
    The Book of Longings
    by Sue Monk Kidd
    The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd follows the life of Ana, a woman born in the Galilean city of ...
  • Book Jacket: Master Class
    Master Class
    by Christina Dalcher
    Christina Dalcher's Master Class shows America sleepwalking into a perfectionist eventuality not ...
  • Book Jacket: How to Pronounce Knife
    How to Pronounce Knife
    by Souvankham Thammavongsa
    Many examples of immigrant fiction dedicate a portion of their storytelling to exploring details of ...
  • Book Jacket: The Easy Part of Impossible
    The Easy Part of Impossible
    by Sarah Tomp
    Teenager Ria Williams is a skilled diver. She is on track to compete at the Olympic level, but ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Daughter of the Reich
    by Louise Fein

    A spellbinding story of impossible love set against the backdrop of the Nazi regime.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Prisoner's Wife
    by Maggie Brookes

    Inspired by the true story of a courageous young woman who enters a Nazi POW camp to be with the man she loves.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Paris Hours
by Alex George

One day in the City of Light. One night in search of lost time.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win The House on Fripp Island

The House on Fripp Island
by Rebecca Kauffman

A taut, page-turning novel of secrets and strife.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

B I T T Water

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.