“In the London borough of Camden, in the middle of the last century, there lived three brothers…”
HISTORIANS should always write at least one novel set in their own era. They have the training for detail to record the now.
And this being Peter Ackryod, biographer of London, of the Tudors, of Dan Leno and Limehouse, of Chaucer and Blake, you might want his fiction to be based on a true story but it quickly becomes apparent that is pretty unlikely. Brothers is a crimo. You can feel the similarities with the London racketeer Peter Rachman – which would be a good plot, but here is just so much London pea soup.
Ackroyd shuffles around Camden Town like it is his own backyard, which it probably is. The 1950s and 1960s are also his time – he was born in 1949. He traces the fates of three young brothers for…
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