Pandemic: Blood and Cinders by DDC Morgan, 2020, 9781912526680.
This was quite good. Recommended online by Anthony Neil Smith and the knock-out cover and title really sold me.
Post-war London in 1949 and former British Army Officer Reg Calloway is the security boss at a stadium. One of the massive draws at the stadium are the twice weekly motorcycle races. Speedwaycycle racing is a team sport with leather clad riders making 2-3 laps in groups of 4. The novel begins with the Bermondsey Bullets best rider of the season losing control, hitting a wall, and pronounced dead.
The team owner is a sexy, icy, close-to-middle-aged blond. She says there have been rumors that the rider was somehow sabotaged and killed on purpose. She asks Reg to ask around and investigate. Reg does.
Great stuff with lots of period detail. Reg is not the same after the war and most of his life is work. He had a very violent war and keeps his own residual rage and violence tamped down tight. Reg follows clues, asks questions, discovers secrets, follows dead ends. A well done mystery and ending chase.
1. Vintage motorcycle love.
2. Vintage motorcycle love had an anachronism according to one production date posted online.
3. Webley love.
4. Gay dudes under threat of beatings, arrest, and prison.
5. Dirty, rotten, filthy, stinking, no-good nazis.