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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

"Masterful whodunit." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Half of last chapter is missing from Audible

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

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Margaret
  • San Francisco, CA USA
  • 03-26-12

Satisfying!

Any additional comments?

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.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Scott
  • Philadelphia, PA, United States
  • 09-24-13

Falls a bit short of other books in this genre

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.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kathy
  • Minnetonka, MN, United States
  • 05-02-12

If becomes Series I'd read more

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.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Debbie
  • Toney, Alabama
  • 11-14-17

Madness, Monsters, Murder and Myths

Interesting tale of former Pinkerton, Sebastian Becker, now working in England for the Lunacy Commission (yes, Lunacy) . . . in the Victorian era, when doctors believed in bleeding their patients . . . many times bleeding them to death . . . Sebastian's visit to Sir Owain Lancaster's estate to determine his sanity, gets a detour when two girls are found murdered in the town . . . and he learns of the myth about the monsters in the bog, long held as truth by the villagers . . . when a simpleton is arrested for the murder of the two girls, Sebastian is certain they have jailed the wrong man, and that an innocent person is about to be hanged . . . thus begins the investigation of the towns' people, their superstitions, and their long held secrets . . . including the story of Sir Owain's trip into the Amazon jungle and his encounters with the natives there . . . as is often the case, things are not what they seem, and I was captivated by this tale . . . especially the parts about Sebastian's son, who suffered from a mental/emotional disorder, while at the same time was gifted . . . this is a very enjoyable, different kind of book, so be patient . . . you won't be disappointed . . . I did not see the conclusion coming . . . BRAVO!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good Book

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Very good story. I wish it'd been a bit longer and more in depth, but still a great listen.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful