An avid reader, Stephen's knowledge of Crime Fiction is fairly extensive, with The Golden Age is his greatest interest.
It is 1946, WWII has at last ended, but who is
winning the peace. In Britain it is a struggle. The rebuilding of the country
has hardly started, everything is still rationed, in fact there are shortages
that are more acute now, than during the war.
In Oxford in
January the snow covers the classical buildings of the colleges. Duncan
Forrester has returned to Barnard College, from his wartime exploits with the
Special Operations Executive or SOE for short, as a Junior Fellow in Ancient
Forrester is hoping
to get funding for a return trip to Crete, where he spent time during the war,
to explore ancient writings found in a cave on the island. But, his energies
are soon diverted towards investigating a murder when a colleague is killed
during a recital of an old Norse saga.
David Lyall, a
young, handsome and successful fellow of Barnard is found below the broken
window of the Senior Tutor's rooms. It appears he had been stabbed before being
pushed out of the window.
It soon becomes
known that Lyall was in a relationship with the Senior Tutor's wife. But it
appears he was also hated by a number of his colleagues, not to mention old
lovers. The Police Inspector Barber decides all evidence points to the Senior
Tutor, Gordon Clark, and he is arrested.
that his friend Clark would not kill Lyall. He now realises that unless he can
find the killer his friend will face trial and possible execution.
Once he begins the
investigation Forrester's leads take him from Oxford to London to occupied
Germany and Norway. There's espionage, betrayal, political intrigue and satanic
rites bound up in this masterful mystery.
Scott is adept at
creating suspense and his storytelling is engrossing. Combined with great
action, exciting and thrilling situations this first adventure is a perfect
The atmosphere of
post-war privations, the drab and cold not to mention the public transport
deficiencies are really well depicted. Scott's Forrester is an engaging
character with intelligence, insight and an athletic agility that helps him to
survive in very tricky places. I look forward to the next thrilling episode.