Matt Payne is back, attracting bullets and bad guys and the failed sons and daughters of old Philadelphian society, and WEB Griffin is in fine form in the digital age, as romantic and jolly as always. But instead of showing us into the salons and bedrooms and backbenches of a secret world, he tells us about a city disfigured by Mexican cruelty, flooded by illegal Hispanic labourers and monetized by Meth and underaged vaguely Central American sex slaves. Instead of histories lived out among captains and sailors and adventurers he reads the plaques of unread public monuments, walking through a live city but seeing a museum. WEB Griffin’s huge heroes are missing, as are his lovely, laughing women, and his young apprentices and hearty institutional bosses. I miss them all.