Full Dark House (2003) is the only book I can remember encountering where the detectives both solve their first case…and their last case in the same book. Yes, there is a bit of shifting the story from the Present to the Past and back again, but Christopher Fowler manages to pull it off.

Full Dark House is the first book in The Peculiar Crimes Unit Series (aka, Bryant & May Series) which now has 19 volumes in it. The action jumps from 1940 and The Blitz to the present. Bryant and May investigate a series of murders at a London theater as the Nazi bombs wreck havoc and devastation around the city. In the present, a bomb ends the life of one of the detectives leaving the survivor to seek clues from the past to solve the case.

If you’re looking for a change-of-pace mystery that leisurely moves from red herring to red herring, Full Dark House will take you on a winding trip in two different time-lines. GRADE: B+

14 thoughts on “FRIDAY’S FORGOTTEN BOOKS #634: FULL DARK HOUSE By Christopher Fowler

  1. Jeff Meyerson

    It’s funny. I know I read this, because it was the first in the series and I remember the death of a main character, but otherwise I have no memory of it. I haven’t read any of the others, except (of course) some of the short stoties.

  2. Michael Padgett

    Same here, Jeff. For some reason I plucked this off the new book shelf at the library when it originally appeared. I didn’t hate it because if I had I’d probably remember more about it than I do. But if I’d liked it I would have continued the series, and I didn’t.

    1. George Kelley

      Michael, friends of mine who like the Byrant & May series tell me the series gets better with each book. The first book dragged in a few chapters. But the unique aspects kept me reading it.

  3. maggie mason

    I’ve read this, and several others, but don’t remember anything at all about them. I have some arcs of other books that have survived many “purges” of books I realize I won’t live long enough to read, but not sure how many other purges they’ll make it thru

  4. Rick Robinson

    I read and liked it, and was a little shocked with the ending. I bought the next two or three books but didn’t get to the second until recently, and liked it even better. I need to write it up for a Forgotten Book post.


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