This is the first in the Bryant/May detective series and introduces us to the two detectives on their first case, and what seems to be their last case. The book begins with an explosion at their police station and Bryant's death in the blast. Throughout the book we are watching two plots unfold--that increasingly appear to be linked.
The first story begins with a sort of Phantom of the Opera case set in the Palace Theater during World War two. The period details are masterful and add to the overall story. The second mystery is, of course, who blew up the police station and why.
I enjoy the cast of the Peculiar Crimes Unit, and cast they are. All police officers, they create an ensemble cast that engages the reader. I look forward to the next book in the series (which is of course about a 2004 copyright, so it's hardly "next").
This is a book written for an adult audience. I don't see much in it that would prompt me to suggest it as a cross-over book for high school students. Although there is no explicit sex there is quite a bit of "violence" and not much I would connect it to in a secondary school curriculum.