Book lover. Stephen King Fanatic. Will try anything once. General Lover of Fiction. Reviewer Everywhere. All views my own. Mostly.
Publication Date: Available Now from Simon and Schuster UK .
Source: Publisher Review Copy
It's 1814 and the streets of London's Covent Garden are at the centre of a dark trade, enticing rich and poor alike with a cocktail of gin and beer and sex. Behind their own fashionable private doors in the surrounding parishes a group of aristocratic young men are found murdered, all of them wearing the mask of a satyr, all of them behind locked doors with no signs of entry.
I have to say that I do love Mr Shepherd's writing - it has a dark, atmospheric brooding quality to it that I have not found elsewhere and it never fails to leave me affected, usually jumping at shadows for a while. This, like his previous novels, is part of an ongoing mythology involving Constable Charles Horton, but all are standalone novels in their own right so you can pick up any of them and have a terrific reading experience.
In this story, our hero is drawn into a world of suspected magic and mayhem, as he investigates a house in the country where rumours of witchcraft abound - whilst back in London, a series of baffling murders is taking place. The answers may well lie within an insane asylum where Horton's wife currently resides, battling her inner demons.
This is an excellent multi stranded story - definitely my favourite so far - it is creepy, unsettling and often horrifying whilst at the same time being strangely fascinating. I was enthralled by the thread of the tale that dealt with the treatment of mental illness, especially as the author has pulled off a difficult feat here by managing to mix the scientific with the mysterious yet still making it all seem perfectly possible. Very intriguing indeed.
I love the characters, was very fond of Abigail Horton especially and the story ebbs and flows between practical and magic with a deft hand that will have you changing your mind page by page as to what exactly is going on. Some extremely intelligent plotting and a lovely lilt to the flow of the prose will keep you immersed in the tale and overall this really is a most enthralling read.
If you like a novel that makes you look at the world around you in a different way for a while then this is definitely for you.
Happy Reading Folks!