'The newspapers referred to it as the case of the seventy seven clocks. There was quite a fuss at the time. We got into terrible trouble. Dear fellow, it was one of our most truly peculiar cases. I remember as if it was yesterday.' In fact, Arthur Bryant remembers very little about yesterday, but he does remember the oddest investigation of his career...It was late in 1973. As strikes and blackouts ravaged the country during Edward Heath's 'Winter of Discontent', sundry members of a wealthy, aristocratic family were being disposed of in a variety of grotesque ways - by reptile, by bomb, by haircut. As the hours of daylight diminish towards Christmas, Bryant & May, the irascible detectives of London's controversial Peculiar Crimes Unit, know that time is the key - and time is running out for both the family and the police. Their investigations lead them into a hidden world of class conflict, craftsmanship and the secret loyalties of big business. But what have seventy seven ticking clocks to do with it?
Now the full story can at last be revealed, in this most eerie of adventures that features Arthur Bryant at his rudest, John May at his most exasperated and a gallery of colourful, bizarre characters who could only make their home in a city like London...
Christopher Fowler is the acclaimed author of eleven novels, including Roofworld, Spanky, Soho Black and the Bryant & May mysteries Full Dark House - which won the 2004 BFS August Derieth Award for Best Novel - and The Water Room - nominated for the Crime Writers' Association People's Choice Dagger Award. He is a director of the film-marketing company Creative Partnership and lives in London with an incredibly irascible cat.