“Instruments of Darkness” depicts an interesting historical time around the 1770s. Although the main plot plays out in England, there are shapshots of the American war of independence and life at sea around the world. Old noble families with old money are crumbling morally and financially in comparison to new industrial gentiles, who buy into manor houses. Secrets are hidden under the surface and while some wish to let them lie, others search to uncover the truth especially when an unknown man and a nurse are murdered.
These others are Harriet Westerman, nouveau riche, who runs the Caveley estate while her husband is at sea and Crowther, natural scientist, who only partakes on Harriet’s insistency and carries secrets of his own. They fight a tough battle against suppressed truths and general contentions that inquisitiveness is not in the interest of society.
“Instruments of Darkness” was a great read – excellent story, good characters, and both enough details to make it interesting and enough pace to keep the pages turning, but I doubt the book will stay with me long. I find myself comparing “Instruments of Darkness” to “The Alchemy of Murder” by Carol McCleary and McCleary’s book just has more oomph. That said, I still recommend “Instruments of Darkness” to reader, who enjoy historical fiction and crime novels.