Sebastian Becker, a former Pinkerton man, lives in England and investigates wealthy eccentrics who may be too insane to care for their own affairs. He is asked to investigate rich landowner Sir Owain, but arrives to discover two young girls have been murdered, and it is not the first time children have come to harm in this small town.
Owain's sanity is in question after a disastrous adventure that killed his family and colleagues, and Becker suspects him of the killings. A smart young suffragette and the wild daughter of a horse trainer had a frightening childhood experience that may hold some of the answers Becker seeks, but only if Becker can convince them to trust him in time.
©2012 Stephen Gallagher (P)2012 Dreamscape Media, LLC
"Masterful whodunit." (Publishers Weekly)
I hope this is the beginning of a series. I listened straight through and except for a couple of the accents, thought it was the nearly perfect Victorian mystery. I recommend it.
An odd transition between the last two chapters had me check out the book version. Turns out the first 1/2 of the last chapter, which ties up the story lines of two important characters, is missing. Makes me wonder if other material has been left out as well.
I enjoyed the first half of the book and the various storylines, but by the second half the book loses steam. The ending was unsatisfying and convoluted. I can't say I understand the motivation of the murderer or the how it relates to the rest of the book.
Sebastian Becker is not a well developed character. His lack of emotion at the death of someone close to him is jarring. He seems to walk through the story without having any reactions to what is going on around him. The only emotion in the story comes through the great narration by Michael Page.
This is not the first book in the series but the only one on Audible. I doubt I will look for more of them to become available. Apparently, the first book is set in the US before he returns to England. I was not surprised to discover that the author is a screenwriter. The story feels very much like a treatment for a miniseries
Lyndsay Faye's books and Caleb Carr's period detective novels. It will be interesting to follow the characters in future books. This one did a very good job of setting up the series. The characters are enjoyable and the protagonist isn't so superior that he instantly figures everything out. It was a believable premise and book.
Very good story. I wish it'd been a bit longer and more in depth, but still a great listen.
Avid Audiobook listener. Mostly like historical fiction or contemporary mystery/suspense.
It wasn't my favorite book by any means but kept me entertained for the most part. I hope there are more books to come.
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