Full Dark House

Christopher Fowler
Full Dark House Cover

Full Dark House: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery


I enjoyed this book. The mystery elements worked, and had enough surprises to keep me guessing. The characters were rich and varied. The wartime theatre setting was unusual and interesting.

My main issue with it was that it wasn't very fantastical. I'm not entirely sure why it was nominated for the BFS award, let alone why it won. Maybe the later books get more bizarre, but this one seemed to have just the tiniest stretching of reality, which can just about be explained away without invoking the fantastical. There's nothing on the order of, say, Malcolm Pryce's Aberystwyth books, which I also enjoy, but which seem squarely in the Crime camp.

I also didn't find it anything like as funny as the cover quotes led me to expect. There's a pleasing level of absurdity and wit, but I don't remember any outright laughs.

Anyway, I enjoy a bit of crime fiction, and I enjoyed this one. I just don't quite know why it's here. 3.5/5.