Joan Lock

Dead Born

Dead Born by Joan Lock Dead Born 2013

Dead Born, Hale 2002

Audio Book, Soundings, 2003

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Paperback and e-book edition:
The Mystery Press 2013
Hale 2001. Large Print Ulverscroft 2002


In this exciting sequel to Dead Image, Detective Sergeant Ernest Best becomes embroiled in a terrible, real-life tragedy - the sinking of the pleasure steamer Princess Alice.

DS Best is sent undercover to lodge next door to a suspected baby farm in Islington. While shadowing a suspect he boards the Princess Alice. On their return from Gravesend the boat is rammed by a collier and around 650 passengers and crew are drowned. Best survives and among the bodies recognises someone who was not on board. The murder hunt that ensues leads him down some murky paths and he comes to a startling conclusion.


‘gripping Victorian mystery’
Publishers Weekly

‘Asking an historian to review a historical novel is asking for trouble – but Joan Lock’s book is something else. Her knowledge of London and its policing in the 19th century makes this into a very different kind of novel – one with an extremely realistic setting.’
London Archive Users Forum

‘Highly recommended.’
Mystery Women

'This superb novel, one in a series of Joan Lock’s Detective Sergeant Best series, was originally published in 2001, and has been reissued in 2013.. . . so ,much more than a detective novel .  . . at once an intriguing and well-paced murder mystery, and an emotive, poignant social commentary, this book is both satisfying and deeply disturbing.  A well-deserved re-release.'
Historical Novels Review

' The historical detail, unexpected twists and unflinching attention to detail, combine to make Dead Born a gripping and sometimes disturbing read.'
Journal of the Islington Archaeology and History Society

Amazon *****
'Excellent yarn, so well set in Victorian times. An extremely well-written story that kept me on the edge of my seat.' Mike Vince
'This novel is wonderfully written and compelling with memorable characters who are very much of their time without being cliché.' Anita Davidson, Historical Fiction Author

Dead Born audio edition by Joan LockDead Born audio edition by Joan Lock