Saturday, April 21, 2007

Anne Perry's favorite fiction rooted in history

Anne Perry, who has just published We Shall Not Sleep, the fifth and final novel in her World War I series, named her five "favorite fictional tales rooted in history" for Opinion Journal.

One of her picks:
Full Dark House by Christopher Fowler

On the surface this is a detective story set during the World War II bombing of London. The destruction--not only of the city but of what previously had been the certainties of life--is painted in a hundred intimate touches. We taste the constant dirt, hear the sirens, bombs and the whine of aircraft. There are shortages of almost everything, and there is a tireless inventiveness to "make do and mend." Against this backdrop in 1940, two young detectives in the Peculiar Crimes Unit investigate the Palace Phantom, a killer who is stalking the cast of a London stage production. But "Full Dark House" is really a novel about the lifelong friendship of two very different men and the qualities that survive time and disaster: tolerance, kindness, good humor and courage.
Read about Number One on Perry's list. It would top my list, too.

--Marshal Zeringue