Full Dark House

Full Dark House

Book - 2004
Average Rating:
Rate this:
A bomb rips through present-day London, tragically ending the crime-fighting partnership of Arthur Bryant and John May begun more than a half-century ago during another infamous bombing: the Blitz of World War II. Desperately searching for clues to the saboteur's identity, May finds the notes his old friend kept of their very first case and a past that may have returned...with murderous vengeance. It was an investigation that began with the grisly murder of a pretty young dancer. In a city shaken by war, a faceless killer stalked London's theater row, creating his own sinister drama. And it would take Bryant's unorthodox techniques and May's dogged police work to catch a fiend whose ability to escape detection seemed almost supernatural--a murderer who decades later may have returned to kill one of them...and won't stop until he kills the other.
Publisher: New York : Bantam Books, 2004
Edition: Bantam hardcover ed
ISBN: 9780553385533
Branch Call Number: FOWL
Characteristics: 356 p. ; 22 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Jan 03, 2018

what it was like in London during the blitz, a detailed description of the inner workings of a theatre, some quirky characters, bits of humour,...and some grisly murders.

Dec 06, 2016

(The first book in the Bryant and May series)

Sep 08, 2015

I am familiar with Bryant and May already, and I agree this was a tougher read with the time span jumps. You had to pay attention to subtle clues to time shifts, such as "The young Arthur...." instead of blatant notices to dates. Delightful to discover how they met and worked their first case together, forged their relationships with Longbright and Maggie Armitage, and how odd that one of the characters came back out of their past. I loved the structure of the theatre building for a peculiar crime scene (loads of dark nooks and crannies), and thought the mythology of the particular play was well enough explained if you aren't familiar with the stories.

Jan 15, 2014

This was alright! I was hoping it would be good from all the reviews but it was extremely confusing. There were so many characters, I couldn't keep up. Also going back and forth between the past and the future was too confusing. And the main character died in the first 2 pages of the book which really put me off. It was really creative once you get to the end but the book was just confusing. I might read the second but I'll need time first to get my head around it.

Dec 25, 2013

May be too much for readers who lack knowledge of Greek mythology.

May 20, 2011


Aug 08, 2010

So different. Very enjoyable.

Aug 03, 2010

Today, Arthur Bryant and John May are the oldest detectives in the London police department. When they first met in 1940, they were among the youngest. Thrown together when the Peculiar Crimes Unit?formed to solve unusual crimes that might otherwise strike a blow to London?s fragile morale?was created during World War II, Bryant and May are uniquely suited to their rather odd job. Bryant is an unkempt, unconventional believer in the supernatural; May, handsome and sensible, can be relied upon to be open-minded. Call them the Mulder and Scully of crime fiction, and you won?t be too far off the mark. Bryant and May?s is a partnership built to last?until one night, in modern London of the twenty-first century, a bomb in the department?s headquarters puts an end to Bryant?s long career. May, nearly eighty years old now but still sharp as a tack, is determined to solve his partner?s murder. He retraces Bryant?s last steps and is surprised to find that they lead back to the duo?s very first case together, a gruesome series of murders that plagued the dark passages of the Palace Theatre in 1940 while German bombs destroyed the city of London outside. In chapters that shift back and forth between May?s present-day investigation and the air raids of the Blitz, Full Dark House is a riveting mystery chock-full of forensics, suspects, history, and character. Author Christopher Fowler blesses Bryant and May with enough peccadilloes to be interesting, but the detectives are not mere caricatures; these are men with personality enough to fill a series of mysteries?and indeed, Full Dark House is one of seven whodunits to date featuring Bryant and May and their sixty-odd years of suspenseful crime solving.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at SCL

To Top