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30 review for Confronting the Invisible

  1. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    It is always a pleasure to take some time when David Field releases a new novel. His latest series, set on the streets of Victorian London, never fails to stir up some thought-provoking moments, with a stellar mystery woven into the narrative. In this novel, a group of children go missing, with ties to Matthew West’s children’s Bible Group. Could he hold the key to their disappearance, or the fact that they are beginning to appear as ghosts? It all started with the circus coming to town. Matthew It is always a pleasure to take some time when David Field releases a new novel. His latest series, set on the streets of Victorian London, never fails to stir up some thought-provoking moments, with a stellar mystery woven into the narrative. In this novel, a group of children go missing, with ties to Matthew West’s children’s Bible Group. Could he hold the key to their disappearance, or the fact that they are beginning to appear as ghosts? It all started with the circus coming to town. Matthew West accompanies his fiancée, Adelaide Carlyle, and her father, Dr. James Carlyle, to the event. West was sure that this night out with Adelaide and her father would calm his nerves ahead of the upcoming wedding. However, during one of the trapeze acts, something goes horribly wrong and Dr. Carlyle can determine that there was some foul play. The authorities want to hear nothing about it and permit the circus to leave town, which baffles both Carlyle and West to no end. However, life must go on. West is working as a local priest and has organised a Bible Group for some of the parish children. Adelaide comes along one week to show off her nursing skills, which includes a chance to check and treat the numerous cases of head lice. The children love it, particularly when they can show off their iodine-coloured scalps to handfuls of worried parents. Amidst preparing for and getting married, Matthew and Adelaide discover something troubling has taken place. A number of the parish children have gone missing, most from the Bible group. What’s worse, parents are not only fraught with worry over that, but that some have been seen outside their homes, almost floating at the window. Might there be something sinister taking place in the form of a demonic possession? Matthew West is not about to wait for the authorities to connect the dots. While West and Adelaide begin poking around, they come across the body of one missing child, her legs badly broken. Dr. Carlyle deduces that it was from a long fall, perhaps the height of a rooftop. This gets the wheels turning and West seeks to explore a little more. What he discovers not only shocks him, but sends him into a panic. Turning to the only people he can trust, Matthew West and his new wife will have to uncover who has taken the children and left them in such squalor, without alerting anyone except a handful of the authorities. When it comes to David Field, mysteries set in Victorian England come to life. I have read a number of his series, all of which are full of historical goings-on, as well as some wonderful storytelling. This series is no exception, as each page is full of something for the reader to enjoy, while seeking to solve a well-paced mystery. Matthew and Adelaide West appear to take centre stage in this piece, which boasts some great character development for them both. Their courtship comes to an end as they are able to finally tie the knot, though this does not dilute their passion to discover the truth of what has been going on around them. The reader will see that West is still trying to get his legs under him as a parish priest and Adelaide seeks to make her mark as a nurse, following her father in the medical profession. While their lives advance independently, they surely need each other to make a significant difference. Personal growth can be found throughout this piece, as well as some needed joint advancements that help round out the story by the end. Field uses a handful of strong characters to support the two protagonists. The story lends itself to a great cross-section of individuals, all of whom work well together. From the stiff investigator who does not want wool pulled over his eyes, to the young children whose curiosity is second to none, Field provides the reader with education and entertainment at every turn. The Wests are surely supported well with these supporting characters and the story flows even better with their subtle steering of the narrative. Field is able to use one-off characters effectively, while also providing a handful of recurring folks that creates a connection between the novels. Overall, the story worked really well, shining light not only on the life of the traveling circus, but the lack of structure the left many families hopeless. Young children roamed the streets and it would not be uncommon for many of them the disappear without notice. Sickness was also quite prevalent, as Field explores in the middle and latter portions of the book, sending large portions of the population into an abyss that may lead to horrible death. With a strong narrative to keep the story moving, David Field offers readers something both entertaining and educational in equal measure. Life in Victorian England surely contrasts greatly with things today, but Field can breathe some life into it with his well-formed Cockney slang and plot lines that provide some needed context into how things were done at the time. Readers will enjoy the longer chapters, which are used to fully explore the issues of the day, though the writing is never burdensome, allowing for a quick read over a day or two. I cannot wait to see what else David Field has in store for his fans, new and established alike. Kudos, Mr. Field, for another winner. I know I am in for a treat when I choose one of your books and you have not let me down yet. Love/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at: http://pecheyponderings.wordpress.com/ A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jannelies (on holiday; reading but not reviewing)

    Review to come.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Les Wilson

    Just not for mo.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Milou

    I adore this series of mysteries. For one, they are shorter books (around 200 pages), but don’t feel rushed or incomplete at any point. The mysteries always seems to involve some supernatural element (yet turn out to have ordinary explanations). And lastly they have a strong Sherlock Holmes feeling, but with some interesting, refreshing, character dynamics seeing as in this case ‘Sherlock’ is a surgeon and ‘Watson’ is a priest. This in itself leads to interesting discussions on science vs religi I adore this series of mysteries. For one, they are shorter books (around 200 pages), but don’t feel rushed or incomplete at any point. The mysteries always seems to involve some supernatural element (yet turn out to have ordinary explanations). And lastly they have a strong Sherlock Holmes feeling, but with some interesting, refreshing, character dynamics seeing as in this case ‘Sherlock’ is a surgeon and ‘Watson’ is a priest. This in itself leads to interesting discussions on science vs religion (with no sides being favoured by the author). Although in this specific book the Sherlock Holmes feeling is let go a bit. Dr Carlyle is a busy man. He has a job to fulfill at the London Hospital and cannot go out and about solving mysteries. We mainly follow Matthew and Adelaide, trying to figure out how to make their lives work in their new roles as curate and spouse. As this series has such strong characters, it is far from a punishment to focus a bit more on their personal lives and problems (although I have to say I did appreciate that not much page time was given to the wedding and honeymoon). But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a mystery to solve. When Matthew and Adelaide come back from their honeymoon they hear that 12 children have gone missing. And just because they are children, that doesn’t mean they get out of this easy. If that is something you are sensitive for, be aware that several of the kids die in quite horrible ways. There is also a series of strange burglaries, ghost sightings and it is rumoured that Spring Heeled Jack has returned. I do have some issues with this book though. For one, there is a great lack of urgency. By the time Matthew and Adelaide are told about the missing kids, they have been gone for weeks already, and still no great search party is put together. And even when it is found out where the kids are being held (after they have already found the mutilated corpse of one of them) they decide against going to their rescue at ones because you can’t work on the weekends! Secondly there is quite some over-explanation. These characters aren’t stupid, and neither is the reader. Yet in certain cases they keep going on, far beyond the point where ‘yes, we got it!’ Overall, this was a very enjoyable and quick read in a series I have grown to love for its great characters and wonderful mysteries that are always different from your ‘standard’ murders.

  5. 5 out of 5

    MARGARET WOODWARD

    Laying ghosts and stopping an epidemic in Victorian London Early in the third book of this series the detection team witnesses a circus high wire accident. Or was it? Soon, the now newly married curate, Matthew West, and his lively suffragist wife Adelaide and her doctor father James Carlyle , are facing a double challenge when children begin to vanish from the village and gossip spreads of ghostly faces floating high in the dark . This unlikely set of events proves to be connected and, in making Laying ghosts and stopping an epidemic in Victorian London Early in the third book of this series the detection team witnesses a circus high wire accident. Or was it? Soon, the now newly married curate, Matthew West, and his lively suffragist wife Adelaide and her doctor father James Carlyle , are facing a double challenge when children begin to vanish from the village and gossip spreads of ghostly faces floating high in the dark . This unlikely set of events proves to be connected and, in making those connections, Adelaide and her father uncover a much greater and more sinister enemy lurking in the stews of the Limehouse Basin of London which they battle to conquer, with the aid of a carmudgeonly Inspector Jennings but in the face of a vengeful newspaper reporter with revenge in mind. This book is energetically written, full of plot elements and information about the backgrounds to the unusual events, including clear explanations of the problems of disease and crime ravaging the slums of London in the 19th century. An elderly Florence Nightingale appears briefly as Adelaide’s mentor, nodding towards her future development in the next book. The relationships of the main characters ring true and Adelaide is a strong female lead. I did find, however, that Dr Carlyle ‘chuckled’ too much, not always appropriately, and that too many modern speech idioms crept into what should have been Victorian dialogue. Nevertheless, the pace is swift and the writing easy and absorbing to read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Chrissie O'Brien

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 4.5 stars. This might be my favorite book out of the series! I am really enjoying getting to see the story from different character perspectives the farther we get into the series. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the story mostly through Adelaide's POV. I loved seeing how happy Adelaide and Matthew were together, and I especially loved and appreciated that Adelaide's character did not do a complete 180 when she got married. She stayed true to her values and did not automatically default to a housewi 4.5 stars. This might be my favorite book out of the series! I am really enjoying getting to see the story from different character perspectives the farther we get into the series. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the story mostly through Adelaide's POV. I loved seeing how happy Adelaide and Matthew were together, and I especially loved and appreciated that Adelaide's character did not do a complete 180 when she got married. She stayed true to her values and did not automatically default to a housewife; seeing her tell/talk to Matthew about how she would not be doing all of the cooking just because she was a women, and seeing adjust to make it more of a partnership is great. The part at the end where Giuseppe holds Matthew hostage felt like there was a little bit too easily resolved, but I still loved this book from start to finish.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Heatherinblack

    the point of the book wasn’t the mystery this is going to be a plot spoiler. this book is about cholera and nursing. the nursing was quite beautiful (especially as i am a nurse) and the details about cholera were well done. but it was hardly a mystery. and everything works out and everyone apologizes to Mr. and Mrs. West. there needs to be more challenge (yes, cholera is quite challenging but read the book and you will see what i mean).

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    Rattling good read Thoroughly enjoyed this instalment in Adelaide and Matthew's lives. They're such well crafted characters along with Dr Carlyle and Inspector Jennings that you really feel as if you know them. Interesting plot that draws you in and gets you right into the heart of the story. Looking forward to the next book in this series. Rattling good read Thoroughly enjoyed this instalment in Adelaide and Matthew's lives. They're such well crafted characters along with Dr Carlyle and Inspector Jennings that you really feel as if you know them. Interesting plot that draws you in and gets you right into the heart of the story. Looking forward to the next book in this series.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Haydn Pope

    A good series An interesting title, with a superb novel. Who'd have thought a novel who's main character was a vicar would be described as superb! Again the middle class and the privileged one to the rescue of the poor working class. A good novel, reguardless! A good series An interesting title, with a superb novel. Who'd have thought a novel who's main character was a vicar would be described as superb! Again the middle class and the privileged one to the rescue of the poor working class. A good novel, reguardless!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    1883 Adelaide Carlyle and Matthew West investigate the death of trapeze artist Robert Manston. Meanwhile children are disappearing from his bible classes, and there are a spate of burglaries in the East End. Are these separate incidents or connected, but what of the motives. Another entertaining and well-written historical mystery in this series, with its likeable characters

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sonja

  12. 5 out of 5

    Anjanette Sims

  13. 5 out of 5

    Phil Humphrey

  14. 4 out of 5

    Cameron Harper

  15. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jane

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mr. Michael P Witcomb

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ken Jones

  19. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mary Gartland

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mrs Annette Reeves

  22. 5 out of 5

    Karen Holland

  23. 4 out of 5

    Richard Woods

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ascott

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kasel Kundola

  26. 5 out of 5

    marylouise howatt

  27. 5 out of 5

    Leire Rogel

  28. 4 out of 5

    annie dunham

  29. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Kaeding

  30. 5 out of 5

    KatieRoy

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