My debut mystery novel Dream of the Dead is the start of a new detective series based in the West End, London’s world-famous entertainment district. Like the Oxford colleges of Colin Dexter, or the racecourses of Dick Francis, the charming theatres of the West End might initially seem an unusual environment for a crime novel. It’s certainly an exuberant, expensive, exhilarating area. But is it dangerous? After all, anyone who knows London tends to think of the West End as a pleasure ground for the masses. The colossal shops of Oxford Street and Regent Street. The glitzy restaurants of Soho and Covent Garden. The tourist magnet of Leicester Square. And, of course, the gorgeous theatres of St Martin’s Lane and Shaftesbury Avenue. Hardly a place teeming with criminals.
Or so it would seem...
Yet take a guess at which area of London also has the highest crime rate? Guess which part of the capital you are most likely to become a victim of violence?
That’s right. The West End.
A wealthy theatre producer is found dead.
A rare, corrosive poison has burned through his stomach.
No one knows why.
Enter DI Jack Ravenshaw. A young, talented officer with a secret: he belongs to England’s most famous dynasty of actors. When Scotland Yard uncovers his hidden past, his acting experience, and his formidable connections, he becomes the perfect choice to investigate the producer’s killing. Against his wishes, he must return to London's West End.
Cast back into one of the most vibrant – and violent – areas of the country, Ravenshaw is quickly surrounded by sexy performers, shadowy assistants, and powerful investors. Finding the truth seems almost impossible. Devious suspects lie at every turn. Corrupt officers sabotage his inquiry. Even his mind tricks him with dreams and hallucinations about his past. Yet with the help of his mysterious partner, DS Emily Hart, Ravenshaw must put all his skills into action against an ingenious, twisted, and ruthless killer…
But can he solve the case before another person is murdered?
M. G. Scarsbrook is the author of two historical novels and the editor of four literary collections. Since 2011 his books have sold more than 20,000 copies worldwide and been translated into five languages. English editions of his work are sold in paperback, eBook, and audiobook formats at all major online bookstores. A member of the prestigious Crime Writers’ Association and the Society of Authors, he lives in the UK and is working on the next book in the West End Murders series.