“Under A Veiled Moon” by Karen Odden – Book Review

Scotland Yard Inspector Michael Corravan – an Irishman in his thirties, Michael has twelve years experience of policing. He had a challenging childhood because his mother went missing when he was only eleven – leaving him to fend for himself. Luckily a women named ‘Ma’ took him in off the Whitechapel streets. Before joining the police he worked on the docks as a ‘lighterman‘, and as a bare-knuckle fighter. Corrovan is single, but he is very much in love with a woman novelist called Belinda Gale. They are lovers, but each maintains their own homes. Corravan has a house in Soho, whilst Belinda lives in a more genteel neighbourhood.

September 1878 – London is dreary, dark, and rainy. Inspector Corravan is concerned that Ma’s shop has been targeted by a gang. This at a time when not only is there anti-police sentiment but anti-Irish sentiment as well.

Once again, the mighty river Thames sets the scene for this novel. It puts a fictional slant on the very real tragedy that occurred when The Princess Alice, a paddle steamer pleasure boat with hundreds of passengers, collided with the Bywell Castle, a huge, iron-hulled ship carrying coal. The  Princess sank to the bottom immediately, and hundreds of people lost their lives. To further complicate things the Thames was full of raw sewage, making the rescue of survivors even more perilous.

Inspector Corrovan is tasked with discovering who was at fault. Who caused this disaster?

I read the first novel in this series last year and it was a pleasure to be in Corrovan’s company once again in this, the second novel in the series.

Set in London in 1878, this book brought a tragic historical event to life. It also showcased the staunch opposition to Irish Home Rule, which was prevalent at the time. The author’s meticulous research is evident in her writing.

The protagonist, police inspector Michael Corravan, was a likeable chap with a strong sense of moral ethics. Of humble background, he laments his lack of formal education, but he is very intelligent and tenacious in his quest for justice.

One thing that was really brought home to me while reading this…. We think of ‘fake’ news, urban gang violence, and political corruption as modern societal problems, yet these same problems have been around for centuries. I also learned just how far back the Irish/English antagonisms have been around as the Irish Republican Brotherhood (precursor to the IRA) was very much in evidence during the time this book was set.

Under A Veiled Moon” combined subjects of political corruption, journalistic ethics, and anti-Irish sentiment. It elaborately showed some of the historical aspects of policing which I found fascinating. It added a personal and very human slant to the dire disaster when two ships collided on the Thames in September 1878. With age-old themes of revenge and regret, this novel should have a wide appeal.

All told, this was a well researched, well-executed historical mystery and a fine addition to a series which I plan to avidly follow.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley  at my request,  for my own reading enjoyment and the writing of this review. Publication date: October 11, 2022

ISBN: 9781639101191 – ASIN: ‎ B09S3J7LRP  – 336 pages

Karen Odden received her Ph.D. in English literature from New York University and subsequently taught at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has contributed essays and chapters to many academic books and journals; she wrote introductions to novels by Dickens and Trollope for the Barnes and Noble Classics Series; and she served as an Assistant Editor for the journal Victorian Literature and Culture. She freely admits she might be more at home in nineteenth-century London than today, especially when she tries to do anything complicated on her iPhone. Karen resides in Arizona with her husband, two teenage children, and a ridiculously cute beagle named Rosy.

Connect with Karen Odden via her website, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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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8 Responses to “Under A Veiled Moon” by Karen Odden – Book Review

  1. Pingback: Fictionophile’s OCTOBER 2022 Reading Wrap-Up #bookblogger #MonthlyWrapUp | Fictionophile

  2. Carla says:

    This sounds like a great Historical Mystery/Police Procedural. Nice review, Lynne.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: ≫ "Sota una lluna velada" de Karen Odden - Ressenya del llibre @crookedlanebks #NetGalley @penguinrandom @karen_odden #UnderAVEiledMoon #BookReview #HistoricalMystery

  4. James McEwan says:

    I take delight in reading the fictional stories surrounding real events. Sounds instructing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This sounds really interesting Lynne!

    Liked by 1 person

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