The Hanover Square Affair
by Ashley Gardner
Book 1 of Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries
Cavalry captain Gabriel Lacey returns to Regency London from the Napoleonic wars, burned out, fighting melancholia, his career ended. His interest is perked when he learns of a missing girl, possibly kidnapped by a prominent member of Parliament. Lacey's search for the girl leads to the discovery of murder, corruption, and dealings with a leader of the underworld. He faces his own disorientation transitioning from a soldier's life to the civilian world at the same time, redefining his role with his former commanding officer and making new friends--from the top of society to the street girls of Covent Garden.
I sat down at my desk and started surfing other's book blogs before I remembered that I hadn't quite written this book's review yet. As much as I hate to say this, The Hanover Square Affair was not the most memorable book. In fact, my reading experience was quite an uphill-downhill, and then up again and down again kind of experience. Even while reading the book, I started getting sidetracked and forgetting what was going on. And then after finishing the book, I even forgot to brainstorm this review.
So, to be short and brief on this one--for real this time, since my "short and brief" reviews always end in rambling sessions--The Hanover Square Affair was enjoyable during the reading of it. There was excitement and I DID find myself sort of caught up in Captain Gabriel Lacey's curious investigation. The mystery was quite serviceable. But a lot of other moments seemed to run in side tangent, or drag on and become almost boring--these scenes I tended to forget about after a while and had to work to recall events that were brought up at later times in the book.
More than anything, I had no rapport with the characters; and when I feel detached from the characters, I tend to stop caring about what happens to them. Maybe the good Captain Lacey was the only character I really did find myself caring about, but I also found his passionate behavior a little extreme and hot-headed. I'm not saying that's a bad thing--he's a uniquely created main character and I like that he comes off different than other main male heroes I often see in many other books. To be honest, I really don't have much to complain about Captain Lacey at all, and if I were to pick up the next book in this series, it would be because of him.
As it is, I really DID enjoy following Captain Lacey's narration a lot.
But I still stand that I found the rest of the characters in the book to be like mere background noise. Even Grenville, who's eccentric and intriguing personality would merit some interest on my behalf didn't quite sit well with me. I liked him just fine. I also kind of liked that he's fairly honest to Captain Lacey about his motives. I just maybe think that, since you don't get to see much in his perspective (since this book is written in first person from Lacey's POV), that you don't really get to know Grenville as more than just a bored, wealthy benefactor to Captain Lacey without much else going for him aside from his biographical eccentricities.
I would love to see more from Grenville's point of view, to be honest.
The rest of the characters had their own characterizations. But those characterizations felt flat and boring.
2016 Reading Challenges:
• Goodreads Reading Challenge
• BookLikes Reading Challenge
• Reading Assignment Challenge
• Bookish Resolutions Challenge
• Mount TBR Challenge
• COYER Summer Vacation 2016 -- Bingo Board One | Square E9 -- Mystery