...a stellar examination of a turbulent time in the city’s history ... Dawson’s background in documentaries and journalism makes this journey more than just a retelling of the facts. She tracked down people who lived it, and now readers will vividly experience that period as well.
...an intriguing book about this silent disaster ... Those parallel plotlines never quite intersect. Death in the Air would've been an even more compelling book without Dawson's somewhat forced attempt to make connections between these two London 'stranglers' ... Another strike against the Christie story is that his grisly career has been exhaustively documented in books and films ... Dawson cuts a precise narrative path through the smog by marshaling together an array of government and newspaper reports and interviews with people who lived through those terrible five days when trains, buses and ships on the Thames came to a standstill and crime was rampant. Most affecting are the first-person recollections of a woman who was 13 years old that winter.
The link between the killer fog and the serial killer exists only in the author’s construct. Christie’s killing spree began nine years before the 1952 fog, and none of his victims was killed while the fog held its grip on London; his killing spree ended three months after the fog lifted. Although the fog and the Christie killings remain two distinct, alternating strands, each story is compelling ... Dawson recounts the facts of the disaster clearly, but she falls short in capturing the human toll ... Though written in a sometimes lurid style, as if the author had read too many penny dreadfuls, Death in the Air is an enlightening look at two lesser known but important events in British history, for both had far-reaching consequences.