It’s been a year since Leo Stanhope lost the woman he loved, and came closing to losing his own life. Now, more than ever, he is determined to keep his head down and stay safe, without risking those he holds dear. But Leo’s hopes for peace and security are shattered when the police unexpectedly arrive at his lodgings: a woman has been found murdered at a club for anarchists, and Leo’s address is in her purse. When Leo is taken to the club by the police, he is shocked to discover there a man from his past, a man who knows Leo’s birth identity. And if Leo does not provide him with an alibi for the night of the woman’s killing, he is going to share this information with the authorities.
If Leo’s true identity is unmasked, he will be thrown into an asylum, but if he lies… will he be protecting a murderer?
Disclaimer: I received a physical ARC of the book from Bloomsbury India in exchange for an honest review! However, the thoughts, opinions expressed in the review are entirely my own.
This is the second book in the Leo Stanhope Mysteries -and though the Anarchist’s Club can be read as standalone – I think it would be better if you read the first book – THE HOUSE ON THE HALF MOON STREET – for the development of the protagonist as well as some of the important events + a relationship with a secondary important character has its foundation in the first book ( I say this because I did not, and I found myself a bit lost in terms of the personal character development of the protagonist!).
Leo Stanhope, born Charlotte “Lottie” Pritchard – identifies as a male, whatever gender he may have been born with. Set in the historical genre, the fact that he had the courage to be true to himself, even if that meant hat he was estranged from his family – this already made sure that Leo made an impact on me as a reader. As I progressed through the book, Leo pretty much cemented his initial impact.
Reluctant participant in the murder investigation of a woman, Dora, he met only once and a champion of her orphaned kids – he is a man who wants to live his life as drama free as possible – but somehow gets embroiled in a mystery, no matter how unwilling he may be. The threads of this mystery slowly unravels its threads to soon reveal that some of these may lead to a past that Leo has striven hard to escape from.
The Anarchist’s Club had everything I could ever like about a book – a historical thriller mystery, brilliant character growth of the protagonist, the realistic struggle of the protagonist undergoes between choosing the right path for the greater good, and an instinctual survival instinct to remain as invisible as possible with the path that he has chosen.
The plot itself was attention grabbing, yet somehow stayed away from being sensational – it had enough twists and turns to keep the reader’s attention and the climax was action packed enough to have an impact on the reader.
However, by the end it was quite clear that has still a whole lot of growth to undergo & I am looking forward to seeing the journey the author will be taking Leo Stanhope on!