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H.B. Lyle Books In Order

Publication Order of Irregular Spy Books

The Irregular (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Red Ribbon (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

H.B. Lyle is an English author famously known for his debut novel, The Irregular (2017) the first book in Irregular Spy series. Lyle became a published author in 2017 when he published his debut novel in Irregular Spy series.

The Irregular

Even though published in the 21st century, The Irregular is set in 20th century London when the British Empire seems impervious. But for one Captain Kell, the man in charge of the counter-intelligence knows how to infiltrate the “invulnerable” British Empire. On the other hand in German, there’s an arms race, in Russia a revolution and in London, England the streets are alive and kicking with foreign terrorists.

Captain Kell wants to create a secret service but to get the approval from his political masters, he first needs proof of a threat and to accomplish this he needs an agent he can trust. The training fields of Eton might produce well-trained officers, but not men who can work covertly in a munitions factory that’s leaking secrets to the Germans.

Therefore, Kell needs Wiggins, a man who was trained as a child by Kell’s best friend Sherlock Holmes and also led a gang of investigators named Baker Street Irregulars. Wiggins is a retired soldier, an expert in deductions and the cunning skills of a street-born fighter.

But Wiggin’s turns down the offer claiming that he doesn’t do official. However, when Russian anarchists assassinate his good friend, Wiggins sees that the role of an undercover agent could take him towards sworn revenge.

While tracking the Russian gangs, he meets a mysterious, beautiful lady named Bella who saves his life. Working under the supervision of captain Kell, he starts to unravel a conspiracy that stretches far beyond the ammunitions factory.

Set in Edwardian London, this is the story about Wiggins working as a bailiff and struggling to live each day, it is a harsh life, and it’s even almost impossible to make an honest living. He is approached by Captain Kell to help him aid the empire. But at first Wiggins declines the offer, but after the death of his friend (who’s killed by the Russian anarchist) he vows to seek revenge. However, he realizes that on his own and without the necessary resources, the death of his friend won’t be avenged and so he heads out to seek Captain Kell. Now with the offer accepted, Wiggins is taken in as an agent to infiltrate an ammunitions factory leaking secrets to the Germans.

What follows next is a tale of terrorism, espionage as secrets buried are exposed. The first book in Irregular Spy series by H.B. Lyle is a wonderful read. Wiggins is a great protagonist to focus the book around. The author has taken someone who was a supporting character form one of the best fictional stories ever written and brought him to life.

The young ragamuffin who was a head of the Baker Street Irregulars gang is now a grown-up and thanks to H.B. Lyle the main character of his own series. Life has been hard for the young man, but thanks to Sherlock Homes he has picked up some of the best detective traits. He is super excellent at deduction, he is a likable fellow, and he is the kind of character that you would want to be associated with, as he fulfills his mission and seeks revenge.

The supporting characters in the story are great, and will immediately draw you in, from the brooding, a hulking and menacing form of Yakov, Peter, Captain Kell and his beloved wife, Constance.

We get to see both Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes in flashbacks from tough Wiggins youth and also get to learn more about the creation of the Baker Street Irregulars. There is also the fleeting adventure of the two in the present-day story. Even though these appearances in the narrative add nothing in the main story, they are however good additions, especially when they concern some of the famous literary figures in history.

Lyle does a wonderful job of bringing the Edwardian London life to life, the train stations, the bustling city streets, the filth and the oppression of the time, the squalor, the dark streets, and the social divide between the poor and the rich. Indeed it is a tough place for anyone poor to live while those rich live in luxury.
The pacing of The Irregular story is perfect, the chapters move along with the storyline nicely, while the frequent flashbacks that never outstay their welcome. All in all the overall story is fast paced, action packed, full of emotion, violence, plenty of twists and turns and some touching moments.

The Television rights to the novel have already been acquired, and there’s a lot to love in the book especially for those who fancy crime, spy, historical fiction and thriller books. The story merges together real-life persona and actual events with fictional storyline and characters to form an originals story for the secret service.

The Red Ribbon

The newly created secret service bureau is under constant threat from other agencies in the British government. Captain Kell efforts to capture the spy (soon threatens to run out of control) leaking information hasn’t been successful. In the meantime, Captain Kell’s best friend Wiggins is searching for the man who tried to murder him, a revolutionary anarchist named Peter the Painter.

During the course of Wiggin’s hunt, he crosses path with an old enemy from his youth, a man who was a member of the Baker Street Irregular who went rogue and is now operating a classy brothel known by many as The Embassy, which might have a strong connection to the information leak at the Secret Service Bureau.

However, the investigation takes a twisted turn when a woman is found brutally murdered and Wiggins is carried away out of town. Lastly with a helping hand from Sherlock Holmes,- all the pieces of the investigations start piecing together, climaxing in one of the well-known and most violent confrontations in the history of the 20th century Edwardian London, which came to be known as the Siege of Sidney Street.

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