“Without The Moon” by Cathi Unsworth – Book Review

WITHOUT THE MOON, based on a true crime that occurred during the dark days of February 1942, was also longlisted for the 2016 Gordon Burn Prize and made The Times’ Crime Book of the Month on publication.

Anyone who is interested in the events of WWII will probably appreciate this historical mystery novel. Set in blitz-plagued London in 1942, this was a time when most able-bodied men were conscripted to fight the enemy – leaving few back home to fight crime.

The case being investigated was a particularly gruesome series of crimes against prostitutes who plied their trade during the winter of 1942. Based on true crime, the book was meticulously researched.

The title “Without The Moon” was perfect for the story. It alluded to the dark deeds that were committed in London during the enforced blackouts. Without the moon made for a perfect cover of complete darkness.

I’ll admit, I did struggle with some parts of the novel, mostly because of the plethora of characters within its pages. So many different personalities, often only a small part of the overall story making the narrative feel disjointed. It took great concentration to keep the many characters straight in my mind. Thus it was hard to connect with them or be empathetic to their plight.

The protagonist, Detective Chief Inspector Edward Greenaway of Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad heads the investigations. He was an admirable character, yet I felt I never really got to know even him very well.

The book had a noir, bleak, and very atmospheric feel. Recommended to fans to true crime and history buffs who don’t mind a rather disjointed narrative.This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from House of Anansi Press, Inc. This is a backlist title and I apologize to the publisher for not reviewing it sooner.
Trade Pbk. ISBN: 9781487000806 — Epub: 9781487000813 — 352 pages
Publication Date: July 2, 2016

Cathi Unsworth is a novelist, writer and editor who lives and works in London. She began her career on the legendary music weekly Sounds at the age of 19 and has worked as a writer and editor for many other music, film and arts magazines since, including The Guardian, Financial Times, Fortean Times, Bizarre, Melody Maker, Mojo, Uncut, Volume and Deadline.

As well as working on her books Cathi has appeared on TV and radio including reviewing for BBC2’s The Culture Show. She regularly takes part in live events, has given screen talks at The Barbican Centre in London and organized walks, talks and spoken word gigs for The Zabludowicz Collection, The Bishopsgate Institute, The London Adventure and The Sohemian Society. She is currently teaching novel writing for Curtis Brown Creative’s online platform.

Connect with Cathi Unsworth via her website.

About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
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5 Responses to “Without The Moon” by Cathi Unsworth – Book Review

  1. Carla says:

    Great review, Lynne. I am not a fan of a plethora of characters, I don’t want to think too hard. 😊


  2. Hi Lynne. Too many characters has been the downfall of many books.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: “Without The Moon” by Cathi Unsworth – Book Review @HouseofAnansi #CathiUnsworth #WithoutTheMoon #BookReview #HistoricalFiction

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